By TAYLOR HARTZ
Southington Public Schools opened their doors this week, welcoming students back on Thursday and holding two professional development days for faculty and staff earlier in the week. Superintendent of Schools Timothy Connellan said Tuesday that the school system is “in great shape and ready to receive students.”
Over the summer, Connellan and new Assistant Superintendent of Schools Steve Madancy, former principal at Kennedy Middle School, hosted a first-time orientation for administrators, modeled off of the annual orientation for new teacher.
This year, Southington welcomes more than 10 administrators who are new to the district or to their administrative roles.
Brian Stranieri, new principal of Southington High School (SHS,) joins two new assistant principals at the high school. Steven Madancy’s move to Assistant Superintendent brought a new principal to Kennedy Middle School, while three new elementary school principals have been added—two that are new to Southington and one that’s new to the administrative field.
The district also welcomes two new special education coordinators and a new athletic director, who will begin their work in the district this fall.
“I’m happy with where we are in terms of our team,” said Connellan. “Our administrative team is solid.”
“I’m really excited to see an already great district in so many ways start chasing excellence in everything we do,” said Greg Ferry, new Athletic Director who comes to Southington from Avon Public Schools.
On Aug. 13, the Board of Education (BOE) unanimously approved the addition of two full time teachers (FTE) for Thalberg Elementary School, and two part-time teachers who will provide assistance with ESL classes at SHS.
Sherri DiNello, finance director for the school district, explained that after calculating retirements and staffing changes over the summer, the district has exceeded the original allocated turnover. This means that the district will remain within their budget with the addition of two FTE’s and two part-time educators.
Though the summer saw fluctuation in classroom sizes, Connellan said “right now I think were in a situation where we have some stability in the numbers.”
“I’m pretty comfortable with where we are,” added the superintendent.
At the August BOE meeting, Connellan provided the board with his annual Superintendent’s Report. Patricia Johnson, BOE, applauded Southington High School’s 100 percent graduation rate. The High School graduated 508 students in June.
“We should be shouting this all over town,” said BOE member Terri Carmody of the accomplishment.
“It really reflects the caliber of the staff and the caliber of this board,” added Terry Lombardi, BOE, who commended the board and staff for managing a huge amount of change this year
“We have great folks here, we have great kids, great families, and wonderful staff who come to work and knock themselves out for the kids every day,” said Connellan. “It’s going to be a great year for us.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Hartz, email her at THartz@SouthingtonObserver.com.