By: Van Riley, Superintendent
As we begin to think about the beginning of a new school year, I want our parents and community to know what has been happening this summer. First of all, our students continue to grow and excel in many areas. Last month, it was reported that our new full day kindergarten resulted in over 90% of our youngest students meeting or exceeding literacy goals. On the other end, our graduation rate continues to climb. The most recent report showed a 96% graduation rate for Stonington High School compared to 85% statewide. College acceptance rates hover around 80% compared to 75% statewide. Each year our seniors score well above the state average on both the SAT math and verbal tests. This summer, 25 teachers attended the “Learn Zillion TeachFest” in Hartford, while another 40 teachers have been designing new or updated curriculum in language arts, math, science, and social studies.
I am pleased to introduce three new principals to our district. Mark Friese, the former assistant principal of Stonington High School, has been promoted to the position of principal. Jennifer McCurdy is returning home to Deans Mill School as the new principal. Greg Keith is also returning to our district as the new Mystic Middle School principal, after serving as principal of Ledyard Middle School. In addition, we welcome Neal Curland from The Norwich Free Academy as the new assistant principal of Stonington High School. We also want to congratulate our newest administrator Kathy Irvine, who is moving from a teaching position at Deans Mill School to her new position as assistant principal of West Vine Street School/West Broad Street School.
We have hired ten new teachers over the summer. Please join me in welcoming them to our district. It is an accomplished group of new teachers chosen from over 150 applications. Welcome to Stonington Public Schools.
Kirsten Anderson – DMS Library Media Specialist
Lauren Colburn - SHS English Teacher
Bethany DePerry – WVSS Special Education Teacher
Kristen Leese – MMS Language Arts Teacher
Emily McMinn – DMS Music Teacher
Alexis Moniz – DMS/MMS Psychologist
Robert Nigrelli – MMS Health/PE Teacher
Stephanie Petricone – PMS Reading Specialist
Vacancy - PMS Art Teacher
Vacancy – PMS PE Teacher
Parents, the goal of our instructional team is the same as your goal for your child. We want your children to succeed, thrive, be challenged, and be prepared for their futures. We are enhancing our facilities, purchasing new materials, and updating technology. Please help us by making sure your child is ready for learning. Make completion of homework a high priority by providing a quiet time free from distractions and noise. If possible, set up a dedicated space for study in the home. Check your child’s homework each night and make sure they have the supplies they need at home and school.
Although there may continue to be challenges with budgets and facilities, together we can overcome obstacles and continue to provide a rich educational environment. I sincerely hope this year will be a positive one for each and every student.