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Board Names New Sandy Hook School Administrators

Following an executive session, the Board of Education unanimously voted on Tuesday, May 21, to name a principal and assistant principal for Sandy Hook School.

Kathleen Gombos, the current principal at R.M.T. Johnson School in Bethel, was chosen as the new principal for Sandy Hook School, and Timothy Napolitano, who currently teaches at Reed Intermediate School, was appointed as assistant principal.

According to a press release from the school district, Dr Gombos “has been viewed by her staff as intelligent, compassionate, a true leader, and a person who empowers others but yet holds them accountable. She has instructional strength and we feel she will provide intelligent, appropriate support to the mental health recovery for the students, staff, and parental community for Sandy Hook School.”

Mr Napolitano has taught at Reed since 2005, and previously taught first grade for five years at Sandy Hook School.

“He was a highly sought-after candidate from UConn when he joined the Sandy Hook staff as a first grade teacher,” according to the release. “He is able to have balance in his professional life, but at the same time is immensely focused on the welfare of the students he teaches and the staff with whom he works.”

 

Spending Freeze Update

Also during the meeting, district Business Director Ronald Bienkowski updated the school board about a spending freeze put in place in the last month. According to the report’s summary, “This report projects essentially a break even situation.”

At the board’s May 7 meeting, Mr Bienkowski and Acting Schools Superintendent John Reed announced the school district implemented a budget freeze that will only allow costs considered “musts” to go through for the current spending year.

Mr Bienkowski said this week that all major accounts in the 2012-13 budget remain in a positive balance position.

“The spending restrictions that we instituted a couple weeks ago were designed to prevent us from potentially overspending the budget,” Mr Bienkowski said.

A number of unexpected costs came up since Mr Bienkowski’s last financial report, including a lower than anticipated reimbursement rate for the district’s Special Education Excess Cost Grant.

While Mr Bienkowski said he believes the school district will “make the number,” he also said it will be tough to do so.

Dr Reed also told the school board that a committee has been meeting since March to determine preliminary education specifications for the proposed new building for Sandy Hook School and those will be brought before the board in the summer.

While the district is waiting for word on a number of grants following the events of 12/14, Dr Reed also told the Board of Ed that the district is expecting to hear news regarding its application for the US Department of Education’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant as early as Friday, May 24.

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