By Lindsay Carey
The Board of Education has officially appointed Peter Romano as the new director of operations for the Southington school system.
Out of a pool of 50 applicants, school officials were most impressed with Romano and felt he was the best fit for the job. The rigorous hiring process included screenings and three rounds of interview to weed out the candidates.
In the first round of interviews the candidates met with a large committee of members of custodial, maintenance and business staff in Southington. Those who moved on to the next round, met with the interim Superintendent Karen Smith,incoming Superintendent Tim Connellan and the former Director of Operations Fred Cox. The Board of Education made the final call on who got the job in the third round of interviews.
“The finalists were outstanding,” said Board of Education Chairman Brian Goralski.
Part of what sealed the deal for Romano was his prior experience with Southington.
Romano was Vice Chairman of the Southington Town Council from 2009 to 2013.
“He’s not new to Southington,” said Goralski.
In addition, Romano has experience in over 20 major construction projects. He has also working in several roles, which include project manager, IT director, project superintendent and vice president projects, since 1999 for Fortunato Construction Group in Kensington. Prior to working for Fortunato, Romano was a senior project manager for DeGeorge Financial Group.
“His knowledge of the job and shared vision of where we want our facilities and school system to be are what made him a good fit,” said Goralski.
Romano also knows Cox and has worked with him on projects together in the past.
Cox will remain on board as the Middle School Building Committee Board Consultant to finish up the project he started renovating the middle schools. The board feels this will also be an opportunity for Romano to learn from Cox.
“Knowing that I am stepping into Fred’s shoes is comforting, because I am sure he has left everything very organized,” said Romano. “It should be a fairly easy transition, but I know I have some big shoes to fill.
Romano said he felt he was a good fit for the position, because of his background in construction and because he enjoy working with people.
Interim superintendent Smith said that his communication skills are a good part of the reason she was impressed with him.
“Romano’s proven record working with all kinds of people from all walks of life,” made him an ideal candidate for the job said Smith.
Romano officially started his new position as Director of Operations on July 1.
“I look forward to continuing the quality of the operation and the services that the team and this department have always provided,” said Romano during last week’s Board of Education meeting.