New Haven Board of Ed Appoints New Principals

Read the story on the New Haven Register here!
Read the story in the New Haven Independent here!
Principals named for Wilbur Cross, Nathan Hale, Bishop Woods, Lincoln-Bassett and Hyde School of Health Sciences and Sports Medicine; World Languages Supervisor also named
The New Haven Board of Education on Monday approved the appointment of five principals at two high schools and three K-8 schools, replacing retiring administrators. The board also approved the appointment of a new Supervisor of World Languages. The new appointments are as follows:
High Schools
Edith Johnson – Principal, Wilbur Cross High School
Zakia Parrish – Principal, Hyde School of Health Science and Sports Medicine
K-8 Schools
Tara Cass – Principal, Nathan Hale School
Rosalind Garcia – Principal, Bishop Woods
Yolanda Jones-Generette – Principal, Lincoln-Bassett School
Central Office
Jessica Haxhi, Supervisor of World Languages
“All five of these educators have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability at their current schools and a passion for giving students the best education possible,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo. “Thanks in part to the rigorous training and support they have and will receive through the district’s Leadership Development Program, I am confident these leaders are well positioned to tackle challenges and continue improving schools. I wish them well and I thank those principals who are retiring for their exceptional service to the district.”
All of the principals appointed Monday went through a rigorous interview process that included not only Central Office executives, principals, parents, and teachers, but also teachers and parents from the schools. The five newly appointed principals are participants of the district’s innovative Leadership Development Program, which nurtures, supports and grows aspiring leaders. Two of the newly named principals – Dr. Parrish and Principal Cass – were founding members of the first class of the district’s Residency Program for School Leadership in partnership with Achievement First.
As part of its emphasis on leadership development, the district has also emphasized effective transition planning for school leaders.  Each of the appointed administrators will be able to participate in the district’s “new principal Bootcamp” in July, which includes the ability to bring leaders and teachers together from the school they are joining.  The principals will also have access to coaching modeled on the nationally recognized program at the New York City Leadership Academy. 
The principals named Monday are replacing the following retiring principals: Peggy Moore of Wilbur Cross, John Russell of Hyde, Lucia Paolella of Nathan Hale, Barbara Chock at Bishop Woods and Ramona Gatison at Lincoln-Bassett. Jessica Haxhi will replace Dr. Karen DeFur, who is retiring as Supervisor of World Languages.
Two principal vacancies remain – at John C. Daniels School and Brennan-Rogers School. The school district will move quickly to begin the process of interviewing for those positions and appointing new principals.
Please see the following short bios of the newly appointed principals:
Edith Johnson currently serves as Assistant Principal at John C. Daniels School, where she has worked to preserve and expand the school’s strengths – including its Dual Language and Higher Order Thinking (HOT) programs – as well as foster strong academics and a positive community. Before leading Daniels, Johnson worked as assistant principal at Fair Haven School. Johnson came to NHPS in 2011 from Montgomery County, Maryland, where she worked for 10 years, first as a teacher then as an assistant principal at a high school where she helped create and oversee a 9th Grade Academy to help eighth-graders transition to high school.
Zakia Parrish currently serves as an Assistant Principal at Wilbur Cross High School, where her work has helped improve student achievement and reduce behavioral problems. Dr. Parrish also serves as head of the Science Department at Wilbur Cross, where she utilized her strong background in science and engineering to strengthen science instruction. Before coming to Cross, she served as an administrative resident at Amistad Academy Middle School and Metropolitan Business Academy, where she helped at-risk students get back on track and move on to the next grade.
Tara Cass currently works as Administrative Intern at Nathan Hale School, where she has spearheaded efforts to improve disciplinary policy and interventions and provides critical coaching and supports for teachers. She also worked as an administrative intern and/or resident leader at Sound School, Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School and Achievement First.  Mrs. Cass has a strong teaching background as well, having worked for 10 years as an English teacher before taking on leadership roles.
Rosalind Garcia currently serves as Assistant Principal at Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School, where her work has helped improve student achievement and engagement at the school and her leadership ability has helped contribute to the school’s positive culture. She also worked for many years as an elementary school teacher in New Haven and other districts before taking on leadership roles here.
Yolanda Jones-Generette currently serves as Assistant Principal at Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School, where her work helped improve student achievement and engagement and her creation of a Family Engagement Academy helped to dramatically increase parent engagement. Prior to joining Barnard she worked as a literacy coach at Lincoln-Bassett and before that, as a teacher at Wexler-Grant, Helen Grant and Fair Haven schools.
Jessica Haxhi teaches in Waterbury Public Schools and regularly teaches world language methodology courses at Southern Connecticut State University and Central Connecticut State University. In her 22 years as a world language educator, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Northeast Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and worked on the writing of the Connecticut World Language Frameworks. In 2002, she received the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award.