August 17, 2009
Contact:         Michelle Wade, (203) 946-8450  Cell – (203) 675-5132
NEW HAVEN – At a special Board Meeting Monday evening, the Board of Education approved the appointment of Ms. Damaris Rau, Ed.D, as Director of Instruction.
Her success as a leader in transforming and improving schools has been acknowledged state wide.  During  her tenure as principal at Hamilton Avenue School – The Renaissance School in Greenwich, CT, the school was recognized as the 2007-2008 Connecticut State Vanguard School for Significant Improvement in student achievement; recognized by ConnCAN in 2006 and 2007 as Top Ten School in Connecticut; recipient of the Lone Pine Foundation, Inc., Fairfield County Academic Gain Award (1st runner up) for significantly closing achievement gaps and was recognized in 2007 by the State of Connecticut as a Model School for Responses to Intervention (RTI). 
With a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from St. John’s University in New York in 1983 and an Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College in New York in 2003, Rau comes to New Haven with a solid background in leading schools through transition to success. 
Rau started her education career in the New York Public school system as an Early Childhood classroom teacher and worked her way up to Assistant Principal where she supervised grades Pre-K through eighth staff.  She then moved to Greenwich Public Schools in Greenwich, CT.
With her proven success working with low income children in urban settings, Rau will work closely with school leaders and staff to direct instructional programs. The directors of instruction are responsible for managing schools and principals.  Rau will focus on improving student achievement, implementing curriculum, reviewing student and staff assessments, performing and supporting a data driven decision making process and participate in strategic planning.
The district’s personnel plan calls for three Directors of Instruction.  This appointment fills one of two positions left vacant by recent retirements.  The board is still interviewing to fill the third and final position.  Charles Williams is currently a Director of Instruction.
As city and school officials continue their plans for education reform, this appointment is an example of their plan to attract, develop and retain effective personnel towards the goal of raising student performance and closing the achievement gap.