West Hartford Principal Accepts Position as New Hartford Superintendent, Interim Appointed

Jeffrey Sousa will be leaving his role as principal of West Hartford's Braeburn Elementary School to become superintendent of schools in New Hartford. Courtesy photo

Braeburn Principal Jeff Sousa has been named superintendent of schools for New Hartford.

Braeburn Principal Jeffrey Sousa chats with some students as they head into the school to begin the first day in 2015. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

By Ronni Newton

A principal of a West Hartford elementary school will be departing to become superintendent of schools later this month. The New Hartford Board of Education announced Friday that Braeburn Principal Jeff Sousa has been appointed superintendent of schools, effective Nov. 28, 2022.

“This announcement is bittersweet for the Braeburn community where he has served since 2015 with energy, enthusiasm, and dedication,” Andy Morrow, interim superintendent of West Hartford Public Schools, said Friday in a letter to Braeburn faculty, staff, and families. “Mr. Sousa has made significant contributions to the district for over 10 years. He will serve the New Hartford community well and will be missed by students, families, and colleagues.”

Sousa began his career in Wallingford, where he grew up, and came to West Hartford Public Schools as an assistant principal at Sedgwick Middle School in 2012, before being named principal at Braeburn in 2015.

Sousa’s last day at Braeburn will be Nov. 23, and Morrow said that because of the timing the district has appointed an interim principal to immediately begin the transition while the Braeburn community begins the process of recruitment and selection of a permanent replacement.

“Fortunately,  our district has a wealth of incredible leaders ready to serve. It is with enthusiasm that I announce the appointment one of our leaders, Mrs. Kim Ambroise, as interim principal for Braeburn Elementary School,” Morrow said. “Mrs. Ambroise, who serves as an assistant principal at Hall High School,  is a proud resident of West Hartford. Over the past seven years as an administrator in the district, Mrs. Ambroise has been well-known for creating opportunities for all students to thrive and grow. Mrs. Ambroise possesses vision and passion that align with those of the Braeburn community. I know that she is looking forward to quickly engaging with the children, families and staff of Braeburn and getting to know all that makes Braeburn so special.”

Kim Ambroise was named the Build No Fences award winner at the Breakfast on the Bridge. Sept. 14, 2022. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

In September, Ambroise was awarded the Bridge Family Center’s “Build No Fences” award, given annually to someone in the community who embodies the Bridge’s commitment to its mission of “every child, every family, every time.”

“I am confident that Kim will bring this passion to Braeburn as interim principal,” Morrow said.

“I consider it a true honor and privilege to serve as New Hartford’s superintendent,” said Sousa in a statement. “I am driven by each child’s well-being, their achievement and I look forward to working with all of our families and staff for the success of every student. New Hartford’s longstanding tradition of providing an excellent education for each child will continue and flourish.”

Karl Hermonat, chair of the New Hartford Board of Education, said in statement that “I am very impressed with Jeff’s experience and passion for elementary education. He is a dedicated leader and a great fit for our district. We are so pleased to have him join us.”

“Jeff’s magnetic personality and love for elementary education will serve the children and families of the New Hartford Public Schools well,” Penny Miller, chair of the Superintendent Search Committee and Board secretary, said in a statement.

The New Hartford Public Schools district includes three schools that go through Grade 6. Higher grades are part of Region 7.

Sousa, who was chosen from among 13 applicants, has an undergraduate, masters, and 6th year degree from Southern Connecticut State University, and recently completed the Advanced Official Certificate in Superintendent of Schools program at Central Connecticut State University.

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