West Hartford Public Schools Announces New Director of Pupil Services

Melissa Caballero has been named director of Pupil Services for West Hartford Public Schools. Courtesy photo

Dr. Gretchen Nelson will be retiring on June 30, and Melissa Caballero has been appointed to the position.

By Ronni Newton

Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore announced at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting that Melissa Caballero has been appointed director of Pupil Services for the district, and will be transitioning into the position currently held by Dr. Gretchen Nelson.

“Melissa is innovative, collaborative, and most importantly fiercely devoted to the possibilities of all children,” Moore said Tuesday. “This is a home run hire,” he said, for a position that statewide is very difficult to fill.

Caballero “has the potential, and will be a tremendous director of pupil services,” Moore said.

Nelson announced recently that she plans to retire effective June 30, 2021, and Caballero will have the opportunity to get some on-the-job training and shadow her over the next few months.

Caballero is currently department supervisor of Pupil Services. She has worked in West Hartford since 2009, starting off at Charter Oak International Academy.

A graduate of Stetson University, she has been working in special education in the classroom – at elementary, middle, and high school grade levels – or as an administrator throughout her career, and worked in Florida before coming to West Hartford.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Moore said that Caballero “is a committed educator with an exceptional track record in fostering a culture that supports both student learning and teacher development. She is described by others as an innovative, visionary, collaborative leader committed to increasing the capacity of others. Melissa has demonstrated exceptional leadership and organizational skills over the course of her career and brings to this role deep knowledge of special education that will enhance our Pupil Services program, our district and most importantly our students and families.”

Moore said it will be very difficult to follow Nelson’s legacy, but is very confident in Caballero being up to the task. “We are fortunate to have Melissa in this new role,” he said.

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1 Comment

  • “Potential?” (Ugh) She is awesome! Congratulations, Melissa. Don’t let the male dominated leadership make you feel like you have to be a protégé to make it.

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