Born a Newark resident on August 25, 1947, Joseph Del Grosso served as president of the Newark Teachers Union, the largest local teachers union in New Jersey, from the mid 1990’s until June.

Joe attended Essex Catholic High School in Newark 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.

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

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

Joe 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. In 1995 he was elected president of the Newark Teachers Union.

Joe has become 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, Joe has created successful educational initiatives in the Newark Teachers Union, including the NTU’s Albert Shanker Scholarship fund, Educational Resource Center, and our Annual NTU/NPS Educational Conference.  Joe has 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.

The following honors have been bestowed upon Joe:

  • Joe was appointed by New Jersey State Governor Jim McGreevey to the Governor’s Teacher Advisory Committee on March 5, 2002
  • From 2002 to 2004, he served on the Essex County Vocational School Board following his appointment by Essex County Executive, Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.
  • In 2008-Present, Joe was appointed to the School Employee’s Health Benefit Commission by Governor Jon Corzine.
  • In 2009, Joe was honored by the National Organization of African American Administrators.
  • From 2010 to present, Joe serves on the Board of the Newark Education Trust
  • In 2012, AFT-NJ honored Joe with the “Ray Peterson” Award.

During Joe’s presidency, the Newark Teachers Union has became a leader in the state of New Jersey in areas like professional development and education policy.


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