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Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue was honored along with five other educators at the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) annual celebration of educational leadership, held on October 26 at the Saint Clement’s Castle & Marina in Portland, Conn.
Dr Rodrigue was announced as one of the CAS Principal of the Year awardees in April, when she was still serving as the principal at Newtown High School. According to CAS, a high school, middle school, and an elementary school principal are recognized with the Principal of the Year award annually. CAS also has an Assistant Principal of the Year award program. The award programs were established to bring recognition to exemplary school principals and to increase public awareness of the critical role that principals play in the education of youth, according to the association.
Each awardee was invited to bring guests, and Dr Rodrigue said she invited 18 people to attend the event with her, including those who supported her through the award application process.
“It was a really nice event,” said Dr Rodrigue following the event. She added that appetizers, dinner, and dessert were served.
Each of the six 2017 awardees — both the assistant principals and principals — were asked to speak at the event, according to Dr Rodrigue. She was the last to speak, and for each person who spoke, Dr Rodrigue said CAS had prepared a slideshow with pictures and quotes about the awardees from people throughout the application process.
According to CAS, more than 120 people attended the evening.
Along with Dr Rodrigue, the other educators honored at the event were Dr Carla Armistead of Chapel Street School, Stratford, with the 2017 Elementary School Principal of the Year award; Lori DiBlasi of Nichols Elementary School, Stratford, with the 2017 Elementary School Assistant Principal of the Year award; Ernie DiStasi of Seymour Middle School, Seymour, with the 2017 Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year award; Christopher Koch of Bunnell High School, Stratford, with the 2017 High School Assistant Principal of the Year award; and Anthony Menard of East Hartford Middle School, East Hartford, with the 2017 Middle School Principal of the Year award.
According to CAS, all honorees received a plaque, a book, and a custom-designed ring, provided by Jostens, to commemorate the achievement.
The event, Dr Rodrigue said, brought together like-minded people who take what they do seriously, who are thoughtful workers, who are committed, and who love what they do every day.
Dr Rodrigue said she left the evening feeling honored for being named the High School Principal of the Year and for her role in representing the state of Connecticut.
She also said she felt, “humbled… in the presence of other leaders that are making a difference every single day in the lives of students and families.”