Dana Vignale, Head of School
Dana Vignale has taught and worked in a leadership role in top-tier independent, magnet, charter, and traditional public schools for over 20 years, ultimately gleaning best practices in educational programming and school operations. Her experience, coupled with her Master of Education degree in Private School Leadership — from the prestigious Klingenstein program at Teacher College, Columbia University — has provided her with the in-depth knowledge to successfully lead, manage, and grow top-tier schools.
As a life-long educator who never veered from this path, Ms. Vignale earned both her Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in Secondary English Education from Florida International University. Her career began at South Miami Senior High as an Advanced Placement Literature and Language teacher; yet, her sense of adventure took her to an elite independent school in Puerto Rico – The Baldwin School. After three years of teaching middle and high school language arts and writing, her headmaster encouraged her to pursue a second Master’s degree in private-school leadership at Teachers College. After earning her degree, Ms. Vignale stayed in New York City to help found a math, science, and engineering secondary school on the Upper West Side – a selective, public school that partnered with Columbia University. After three years, Ms. Vignale returned to Miami, her home for most of her life and served as a charter school principal until she was brought back to Miami-Dade County Public Schools to help implement the Cambridge Programs and lead admissions at MAST Academy – Key Biscayne. Once these programs were up and running, Ms. Vignale became an Executive Director in the Office of School Choice, where she provided curricular and back-office support to a small network of district-managed charter schools. Prior to coming to Fisher Island Day School, Ms. Vignale was the Director of Finance and Human Resources for a large network of charter schools, serving over 8,300 students and 900 employees.
These unique and diverse roles provided her with a truly deep and robust understanding and intuition of every aspect of overseeing a successful school. Ms. Vignale is fully dedicated to:
- fostering greatness in teaching and learning;
- creating a school climate that is a joyful and mindful place—a place where students, families, faculty, and staff are excited to come, work hard, and celebrate success;
- strategically focusing on continuous improvement;
- building and empowering talented and committed teams of great minds;
- ensuring efficient and fiscally sound school operations;
- striving to ensure the school has the resources it needs to achieve its mission.
- nurturing relationships with every stakeholder; and
- cultivating the full potential of every student through courage, perseverance, and a journey of shared learning experiences that build upon each other by prioritizing inquiry, creation, and reflection.
Ms. Vignale is thrilled to join Fisher Island Day School — a place that truly is the quintessential educational option for families — as the Head of School.
Marco Cirillo, Assistant Head of School
Marco Cirillo joined Fisher Island Day School in 2022 as Assistant Head of School and brings with him a wealth of leadership experiences from both the private and international sectors of education. The experience he has gained — from promoting academic rigor in London’s top private schools to being an experienced International-Baccalaureate-trained educator — has provided him with the knowledge, enthusiasm, and expertise to help drive teaching and learning forward in any environment.
Marco is an advocate of using contemporary pedagogical approaches in helping to shape learning and ensuring all children are provided with the tools and skills needed to flourish. His passion lies in developing curriculum and supporting faculty to provide bespoke-learning experiences with an engaging and “hands-on” approach. He has published several international curricula whereby student engagement in concept-based learning and interdisciplinary units have fostered a love for learning while providing challenging content and affording students the opportunity to develop critical-thinking skills.
Marco believes that holistic growth is just as important as academic rigor and has developed various initiatives to help develop the “whole” child and prepare them for the next stage of their learning journeys. He has led several expeditions in the schools in which he has worked to allow students the opportunity to develop holistically. These have included service-learning expeditions to Mongolia, Costa Rica, and Tanzania. Marco also champions the notion that a healthy body is a healthy mind and is conducive to success. As a qualified soccer coach, he promotes participation in both competitive and non-competitive sports for all students in a bid to develop their lifelong skills.
Marco holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Development Studies from one of the United Kingdom’s leading institutions — The University of Sussex — and a Postgraduate degree in Education (PGCE) from the University of Middlesex.
The Fisher Island Day School Board of Trustees is comprised of Fisher Island Club equity members and noted educators from the community at large. The Board of Trustees, our school leadership team, faculty, and families consistently maintain enthusiasm for what Fisher Island Day School has been and what it is yet to become. Our stable leadership, which is strong and visionary, continually looks for ways to enhance and improve what has been created and sustained in our brief history.
Jana P. Neff, President & Board Chair
Vera A. Hirsh, Vice President & Secretary
Brian R. Neff, Treasurer
Michael J. Bell
James L. Ferraro
Donald S. MacKenzie
Katherine A. Parsons
Ernest M. Rudyak
Laurie B. Melnick