By Rob Glidden
The Board of Education honored Chris Palmieri with a proclamation during its last meeting, in recognition of his selection as the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year for 2013.
Palmieri, who holds that position at DePaolo Middle School, was nominated by the school’s principal, Frank Pepe. A statement was read in which Pepe described his colleague as “a rarity of both knowledge and leadership who gives 100 percent all the time.”
At DePaolo, he is known for serving a number of different roles, including the director of an annual musical featuring talent from both middle schools, the creator of a mentoring program designed to help “at-risk” students, and the voice parents and students hear on a “homework hotline” that allows them to check assignments over the phone.
“The focus of his work is as much on producing well-rounded, caring students as it is on academic achievement,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Erardi.
Outside of the school, he has served on the Town Council for almost a decade. In that capacity, he became the chairman of the Apple Harvest Festival’s supervisory committee and has overseen many additions and improvements to the annual event.
“The Southington community knows him by name,” said Board of Education Chairman Brian Goralski. “He’s a great role model for kids and for adults.”
Palmieri received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree and administrative certificate from Sacred Heart University (CT). He started in Southington as a teacher in 1997 as a teacher at Kennedy Middle School. He was named Assistant Principal at DePaolo in 2005.
While accepting his proclamation, he gave credit to the faculty at DePaolo for the school’s strong reputation.
“I’m truly humbled and honored,” he said. “I’m only able to earn this because of my peers, not just my own accomplishments.”
That evening, one of his students was also being honored. Katharine Myers of DePaolo was recognized as one of this year’s outstanding students as determined by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS). The other honoree was Southington High School student Jonathan LaFollette.