Dr. Santos was born in Portugal and migrated to the United States at an early age. He attended Lafayette Street School, Wilson Avenue School and graduated from East Side High School, before enrolling at Rutgers University, where he completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communications. Dr. Santos completed two Master degrees in school administration and supervision at Kean University and Saint Peter’s College. Later, he attended Seton Hall University where he completed his Doctoral studies in Education Administration.
Following his undergraduate studies in 1990, Dr. Santos began working at his alma mater, East Side High School. His work with Newark Public Schools included working as a School Core Team Facilitator and a few years later as a Special Assistant working with the Assistant Superintendent. Before becoming Principal of East Side High School, Dr. Santos served as a Bilingual Social Studies teacher and a Vice Principal at Wilson Avenue School, a Newark Public School.
Under his leadership at East Side, the high school realized academic proficiency gains in math and language arts, despite having approximately 60 percent of the students designated as English Language Learners. Dr. Santos believes true transformation occurs in part through partnering with innovative educational organizations – many of whom he has established partnerships to benefit students; including YES for Schools, The Future Project, The Big Picture Learning Organization, Essex County College, Montclair State University, and Rutgers University.