Share This

R.I.P. Joseph Del Grosso

Born a Newark resident on August 25, 1947, Joseph Del Grosso was the President of the Newark Teachers Union, the largest local teachers union in the State of New Jersey, with over 5, 000 members, retiring June 30, 2015.

Joseph attended Essex Catholic High School in Newark, NJ and graduated in 1965. He then attended St. Leo's College in St. Leo City, Florida and graduated in 1969 with a B.A. in Political Science. He went on to attend Kean University where he completed his Elementary Certification in 1974.

Joseph Del Grosso began his teaching career with the Newark Board of Education in 1970 as an Elementary School Teacher at Franklin School. Early in his professional career, he made the rights of students and fellow teachers the highest priority. In 1971, he became the NTU Building Representative at Franklin.

After teaching for only 3 months, the Newark Teachers Union in 1971 was involved in a long, bitter 12-week strike. During this landmark strike, Joseph Del Grosso stood by the Newark Teachers Union and later received three months in the Essex County Correction Center as a rank and file member.

Del Grosso became a relentless union activist when he was elected to the Executive Board of the Newark Teachers Union. In the following years at the NTU, he served as Legislative Representative, Financial Secretary, Vice President, and Executive Vice President. And in 1995 was elected by an overwhelming vote of confidence to the position of President of the Newark Teachers Union.

Del Grosso became a strong union leader and professional advocate for NTU's teachers, aides and clerks throughout the Newark School district and the State of New Jersey. Through his leadership, Joseph created successful educational initiatives in the Newark Teachers Union, including the NTU's Albert Shanker Scholarship Fund, Educational Resource Center, and an Annual NTU/NPS Educational Conference. Joseph also created strong partnerships with the Newark Public Schools, New Jersey Department of Education, the Educational Law Center, and Seton Hall University in a variety of areas to improve to quality of education throughout Newark and New Jersey.

Several honors were bestowed upon Joseph, including:
Appointment to the Governor's Teacher Advisory 
Committee by NJ State Governor McGreevey

Appointment to the School Employee's Health Benefit Commission by Governors Jon Corzine and Chris Christie.

Board member of the Newark Education Trust.

Under Joseph, the Newark Teachers Union became a leader in the State of New Jersey in areas like professional development, No Child Left Behind, and Abbott.

Joseph is survived by his loving wife Loretta Catena, his beloved daughter Jeannine, and cherished grandson Gage.