With enthusiastic endorsements from Superintendent Joshua Starr, the unanimously filled eight administrator positions for the upcoming school year.
After a search lead by Tom Danehy, executive director of human capital development, along with many administrators and teachers, one elementary principal, five assistant elementary principals, and two directors of special education were appointed to the SPS team.
“This is the greatest number of administrators we have hired since I’ve been here," Starr said. "It’s been a very comprehensive and rigorous process." Six principals were also earlier on April 26.
Mark Bonasera joins SPS as the new principal of . Bonasera hails from in Norwalk where he served as the vice principal. William Johnson, the Stark Elementary School’s current principal, will be leaving the district this summer to be closer to his family in New Haven.
“I’m very excited about Mark coming in," Board Vice President Jerry Pia, said. "Stark is a great community and the people are excited. I was upset when I learned Johnson was leaving, but talking to Mark made me very happy,”
Laura Lynam, a former fourth grade teacher at Stark and a teacher on special assignment for mathematics, was promoted to the assistant principal role at . Amy Beldotti, also promoted from within, is the new assistant principal at and is currently and individual learning needs coach at . Both Lynam and Beldotti were part of the Urban School Leaders Fellowship, sponsored by the Fairfield County Community Foundation, to train individuals in large district for leadership roles.
Also filling elementary assistant principal roles are Beth Keenan at , who is currently an individual learning needs coach at the school, Sherri Prendergast, who is a literacy coach at KT Murphy and stepping up as the assistant principal at , and Sharon Longo, who got her start at and will move up to the assistant principal position.
Starr said it was great to see internal candidates “come to fruition.”
Two assistant directors of special education positions were also filled. Edith Presley, the current interim assistant principal at , was appointed to one of the positions. Starr said Presley has extensive experience as a special education teacher and was also a member of the Urban School Leaders Fellowship. Sharon Nelson was also appointed, joining the district from Hartford Public Schools. She was one of only two outsiders appointed to administrator positions Tuesday evening.
“I’m so excited about the team we have in place,” said Heftman. “I know that we’re going to hear fabulous things from you. It’s going to be a great team effort.”
“One thing that we’ve seen with the principal appointments is that many people want to come work in Stamford," Starr said. "Good people want to come work in Stamford. This community values excellent education for all kids.”