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BOE Appoints Dr JeanAnn Paddyfote As Interim Superintendent



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The Board of Education unanimously voted to appoint Dr JeanAnn Paddyfote as the interim superintendent of schools during a Monday, June 24, meeting.

This comes after current Superintendent of Schools Christopher Melillo announced in early April that he will be leaving the position on June 30 following the end of the school year.

Paddyfote’s appointment will take effect July 1. She will maintain the position through December 31, or until a new superintendent of schools is hired, according to BOE member Donald Ramsey.

BOE Chairman Alison Plante said that the board is very happy to welcome Paddyfote as Newtown’s interim superintendent.

“We believe that the depth and breadth of her experience as both a longtime superintendent and a special education expert will be an incredible asset to the district,” Plante continued.

Paddyfote takes on the new position having spent over 33 years in New Milford Public Schools, where she acted as the director of Pupil Personnel Services and Special Education for over 20 years. She then took on the position of superintendent of schools in New Milford during her final 13 years there.

Since retiring in 2016, Paddyfote has served as an interim superintendent in numerous districts, including Ridgefield, Madison, Avon, and Region 17 in Haddam-Killingworth.

Paddyfote earned a Bachelor of Arts in Child Study and Special Education and a Master of Arts in Special Education from the University of St Joseph, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Supervision and Evaluation from Fairfield University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from University of Connecticut.

The BOE will continue their efforts in hiring a permanent superintendent. Plante stated that the Board initially set an “aggressive time line” for their search, and that they knew appointing an interim superintendent was “always a good possibility.”

“The Board feels that the appointment of Paddyfote allows us time to ensure that we get this very critical decision right,” Plante said. “As a board, we remain steadfastly committed to choosing a leader who will take Newtown Public Schools to the next level of excellence.”

BOE members Ramsey and Chris Gilson, who serve as the chairs of the search committee, stated, “We want to ensure we have the best possible conditions for the success of our next superintendent. Paddyfote’s appointment will create stability and also grant us valuable perspective from a talented and experienced leader on how to further elevate the district.”

After formally introducing herself at the meeting, Paddyfote thanked the Board for having her there and said that she was very excited to be a part of Newtown Public Schools and serve as the interim superintendent. She went on to say that she looks forward to meeting and collaborating with all the dedicated and talented administrators, teachers, support staff, and personnel as they prepare to embark on a new school year.

“I’ve been away from the classroom and from being in a school district for a year now, and I truly miss it,” Paddyfote said. “It is truly an honor to serve your district and to be available to all personnel, the community, and especially the Board of Education. I want to thank you for this wonderful opportunity; it really means a great deal to me.”


Reporter Jenna Visca can be reached at jenna@thebee.com.

Dr JeanAnn Paddyfote (third from left) stands next to Board of Education members Shannon Tomai (left), Chris Gilson, Alison Plante, John Vouros, and Donald Ramsey after being appointed as the new interim superintendent of schools on Monday, June 24. Paddyfote’s appointment will take effect July 1, and she will maintain the position through December 31, or until a new superintendent of schools is hired. —Bee Photo, Visca
Dr JeanAnn Paddyfote —photo courtesy Board of Education
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