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Year In Review: A Year Of Changes For School District Administrative Positions

Published: December 30, 2017

There was a good amount of movement in the school district for administrators in 2017.

Then-Superintendent of Schools Dr Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, shared an e-mail with the Board of Education and Newtown Public Schools district staff at the start of July of his plan to retire prior to the start of the 2017-18 school year.

After officially accepting Dr Erardi’s resignation, the Board of Education unanimously voted at its July 18 meeting to name Newtown High School Principal Lorrie Rodrigue as the district’s interim superintendent. Dr Erardi’s resignation was effective July 31.

With Dr Rodrigue’s appointment as interim superintendent, the school board held a special meeting on August 2 to interview a candidate to serve as interim NHS principal. Following the executive session interview, the board voted to appoint NHS Assistant Principal David Roach to the position.

The Board of Education then unanimously appointed, at its meeting on August 15, Reed Intermediate School physical education teacher Aaron Blank as interim assistant principal at NHS.

In October, Dr Rodrigue was honored along with other educators at the CAS annual celebration of educational leadership 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 NHS. According to CAS, a high school, middle school, and an elementary school principal are recognized with the Principal of the Year award annually.

At its December 19 meeting, school board Vice Chair Rebekah Harriman-Stites shared a Superintendent Leadership Profile Report, which she explained summarized responses from focus groups with community members, a community survey, and input from the board’s Superintendent Search Committee. According to the report, more than 20 focus groups and interviews were held, and the online community survey was available from September 10 to October 25. In total, the report noted, 575 individuals participated in both the survey and focus groups.

Also at the December 19 meeting, the board accepted Head O’ Meadow Elementary School Principal Barbara Gasparine’s notice to retire at the end of the school year.

“Newtown will always hold a special place in my heart,” Ms Gasparine said on December 20. “I will miss the relationships that have developed, at all levels, over the past several years. But, I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and the next chapter in my life.”

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