BOE approves two principal appointments

NHPS Leadership Selection
Principal, Assistant Principals & Executive Management
 
With our appointments tonight, we close all open Principal positions, including a two step transfer, on the first day of summer vacation.  We also begin to make progress on our assistant principals, with many other appointments and transfers following closing behind.
 
Principals:
 
Sequella Coleman, a longtime leader and educator in the district and the current principal of John S Martinez School, has accepted assignment as the principal of Davis Street School.  The district and the Davis Interview Committee considered 6 finalist candidates reflecting a range of different strengths and experiences.  Mrs Coleman’s leadership poise, deep experience, and team building emerged as differentiating factors in her selection for Davis Street School.   
 
Simultaneously, we are appointing Myrna Montalvo into the vacancy created by Mrs. Coleman’s move.  Ms. Montalvo has been the coordinator and leader of the Helen Grant Head Start program, and before that she was a teacher and instructional leaders at Truman School.  At Grant, Montalvo led the construction of a more rigorous academic pre-kindergarten experience, including the hiring and support of certified teachers.  Ms. Montalvo met a leadership team of parents and teachers at Martinez, who recognized the strength of her parental connections, her passion and energy for student learning, and her ability to build relationships with staff.
 
Assistant Principals
 
Given promotions and resignations, there are currently 8 vacancies for assistant principals, and a range of potential moves are in consideration to strengthen school teams and provide additional developmental experience.  Tonight, we make the first two appointments.  First, Monique Brunson is being appointed as assistant principal at Brennan Rogers, into the position created by the promotion of the current AP to principal.  Ms. Brunson has been, most recently, the interim Principal of Edgewood School, following the midyear departure of the schools Principal.  Ms. Brunson has served admirably, by all accounts, but made the personal decision that she would like to return to an AP role in a different environment.  We all, including the parents and teachers of Edgewood, thank her, and look forward to her leadership of the Rogers Early Grade building at Brennan-Rogers.
 
Second, we are appointing Jenny Clarino as an AP at Lincoln-Bassett School, our Commissioner’s network school redesign.  Ms. Clarino was a participant in the first cohort of NHPS-AF Residents.  In her first year after residency, she supported the transformation of the Quinnipiac School into a fully functioning school, and this past year she both had a baby and supported for a portion of the year at Barnard Environmental Studies School.  Jenny was selected both by the new principal of Lincoln Basset and by the SDE’s turnaround team, as the candidate best positioned to partner in leadership and help to rebuild instructional and climate systems in this crucial redesign school.
 
The remaining AP appointments are very close to final, and will be made in the coming weeks.  Principals and candidates have been actively consulted about AP selections, and in some cases broader school teams have had the opportunity to meet candidates.
 
 
 
Promotions/Group Adjustments
 
The personnel recommendations also includes three adjustments to grade for sitting administrators, called for by shifts to the underlying responsibilities.  Sue DeNicola and Grace Nathman were originally appointed as principals of the overflow programs at Strong and Quinnipaic respectively.   Since those initial appointments, and through deliberate enrollment and instructional planning, both have become schools with significant enrollment and meaningful instructional themes.  By contract, the two leaders are being moved to a new group level reflecting this increased responsibility.  In addition, Nick Montano is being moved to a 12-month AP position, rather than a 10-month position, to reflect the year-round nature of the work at Adult Education, particularly in the transition to a new Principal – this change is covered by the Adult Education grant from the State Department of Education.