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New Principals Announced for Two West Hartford Elementary Schools

Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

West Hartford Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore announced new principals for Aiken and Bugbee elementary schools, as well as two new assistant principals for Conard High School, a supervisor of Early Childhood Education, and a department supervisor for Pupil Services.

Shannon Mlodzinski will become principal at Aiken Elementary School. Courtesy photo

Shannon Mlodzinski will become principal at Aiken Elementary School. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

Just a few days remain in the 2015-2016 school year in West Hartford, but when students return in the fall, there will be several new leaders in place.

Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore announced Tuesday that new principals have been appointed for both Aiken and Bugbee elementary schools.

Shannon Mlodzinski, who has served as interim principal of Aiken School since late January, has been named the permanent principal, and has “brought fresh life, energy, and optimism to the entire school community,” Moore said in the announcement.

“Immediately upon assuming the role of principal, Shannon demonstrated the ability to identify and prioritize Aiken’s needs, set realistic and pragmatic goals, and follow through on them with clear action steps,” Moore said.

Moore said that Mlodzinski has already established a strong, cohesive, and unified environment at Aiken and he praised her “impeccable organization, willingness to listen, supportive yet nonjudgmental approach, and ‘stick-to-itiveness.'” She has gained the respect, trust, and confidence of students, parents, and staff, said Moore.

“It is clear from Shannon’s work over the past several months that she is unequivocally the right choice for Aiken’s next principal. In the past few weeks, I have had parents and teachers calling and emailing me to tell me that Shannon Mlodzinski is exactly the kind of principal that Aiken needs and deserves. I could not agree more. Aiken is in great hands,” Moore said in the announcement.

Mlodzinski holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Saint Joseph and received her 6th Year Certificiate in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University. She attended the West Hartford Public Schools Leadership Academy and taught in West Hartford for eight years before becoming Aiken’s curriculum specialist in 2011.

Kelly Brouse will become principal of Bugbee Elementary School. Courtesy photo

Kelly Brouse will become principal of Bugbee Elementary School. Courtesy photo

At Bugbee Elementary School, Kelly Brouse has been appointed to replace Noam Sturm who has taken the job as principal of Roaring Brook School in Avon.

Moore said that Brouse is an ideal fit for the school, and the Bugbee community “will greatly benefit from her demonstrated passion for all children.”

Brouse, who is currently the curriculum specialist at Morley School, was selected after a leadership profile was created by the staff and the parent community at Bugbee and several rounds of interviews were held.

“At the conclusion of the second round of interviews which included a performance task with a group of teachers and parents, the executive team interviewed finalists who most closely met the profile. The finalists were outstanding candidates, but in the end, we knew with no doubt that Kelly Brouse was the right person to lead Bugbee,” Moore said in his announcement.

Moore said he was thrilled to make the appointment of Brouse. “She is a clear, articulate communicator, with a collaborative, approachable, accessible style, and a record for forging solid connections between colleagues, families, and the community. Kelly Brouse will be a great principal,” said Moore.

Brouse is a West Hartford resident and a Conard High School graduate. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UConn, and was a School of Education Ray Neag Scholarship recipient. She also holds a 6th Year Certificate in School Leadership from UConn and is a graduate of the West Hartford Public Schools Leadership Academy. Before becoming the curriculum specialist at Morley, Brouse taught sixth grade English/language arts at Sedgwick, and began her career as an enrichment teacher.

“Those who have worked closely with Kelly praise her ability to see both ‘the big picture’ and the small details at the same time as well as her ability to create a vision, determine action steps, and follow through to the end. Kelly has been a tremendous asset to each school community where she has worked with her talent to comfortably facilitate meaningful relationships between teachers, students, and families,” Moore said. He said that she values the opinions of all stakeholders and encourages everyone to be at their best.

In addition to the principal appointments, Moore said that two new assistant principals have been hired at Conard High School to replace Matt Pace and Keats Jarmon, who are both retiring. There was an impressive pool of candidates from which they were chosen, Moore said.

Eileen Eustis, currently an assistant principal at Simsbury High School, and Lindsay Tringali, a West Hartford resident who is currently an assistant principal at Rockville High School, will assume their new roles as of July 1.

Moore said that Eustis is “an innovative educator with a passion for working closely with teachers and students who will work to support the achievement of all students.”

Eustis has been assistant principal at Simsbury High School for the past nine years, and previously was English-Language Arts department supervisor at Henry James Memorial School in Simsbury. She began her career teaching language arts at the middle school level.

Eustis has a bachelor’s in elementary education from Saint Mary’s College, a graduate degree from Loyola University, and a 6th Year Certificate from UConn.

Tringali “has a strong instructional background and understands the importance of a positive school culture. Her passion for teachers and students will serve the Conard community and our school district well,” Moore said.

Tringali has been assistant principal at Rockville High School since 2013, and  prior to that was dean of students at Windsor High School. She was formerly a science teacher at Windsor High School and that district’s Teacher of the Year, and a semi-finalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year, in 2006

Tringali has a bachelor’s in general science with a concentration in biology from Brandeis University. She has a master’s and 6th Year Certificate from Central Connecticut State University.

Irene Garneau has been hired as department supervisor for Early Childhood Education for the next academic year, Moore said.

Garneau, who is currently an early childhood instructional coach at the Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School in Bloomfield, has been a program director at The School for Young Children on Asylum Hill, a preschool teacher with CREC, and a teacher and program coordinator at the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Early Childhood Center.

Garneau has a bachelor’s degree in human development/family relations from UConn and a graduate degree in early childhood education/special education from Saint Joseph College.

Garneau “has deep experience in supporting and teaching students and families in multiple early childhood settings,” Moore said.

Emily Daigle has been appointed to replace Lynn Griswold, who is retiring, as department supervisor for Pupil Services.

Daigle currently works as director of Special Services for Wethersfield Public Schools, where she began her career as an occupational therapist, became a special education teacher, and then dean of students.

“Her career developed into one where she has excelled in the field of Special Education and her breadth of experience and knowledge in teaching, special education law and program development brought her respect among her peers,” Moore said.

Daigle has a bachelor’s in occupational therapy from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s from the University of Saint Joseph, and a 6th Year Certificate from Sacred Heart University.

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