School Bd. Selects Interim Principal For NHS

The Board of Education unanimously selected former Ridgefield High School principal Jeffrey Jaslow to be the interim principal at Newtown High School, effective February 19, during its Tuesday, February 11 special meeting.

Mr Jaslow retired after 36 years at Ridgefield High School in 2012. According to his resume he spent 15 years as a biology teacher, 15 years as an assistant principal, and six years as the school’s principal.

“Welcome aboard,” BOE Chair Debbie Leidlein said after the unanimous vote.

Mr Jaslow received applause and handshakes from board members, Business Director Ronald Bienkowski, and Interim Superintendent of Schools John Reed following the vote.

Newtown High School Principal Charles Dumais was chosen in January to be the new superintendent in Amity Regional School District #5. Mr Dumais is set to begin his new position on March 1.

In a January 14 press release Dr Reed said the district was looking to appoint an interim principal to begin before Mr Dumais leaves his position and was also finalizing plans for recruitment and selection of a new principal of NHS.

“It is anticipated that individual will begin on July 1,” Dr Reed said in the release.

On Wednesday, February 12, Board of Education Vice Chair Laura Roche explained the school board plans to hire Jackie Jacoby, with the Connecticut Association of Board of Education (CABE) as a consultant for the high school principal search. Ms Jacoby also worked with the school board for its recent superintendent search. The Board of Education unanimously voted to name Joseph Erardi, Jr, as the school district’s new superintendent during a special meeting held on Friday, January 17. He will begin his tenure this spring.

“We are delighted to have Jeff joining the team,” Dr Reed wrote in an email to parents on Wednesday, February 12. “We heard so many wonderful comments about him. Jeff is a formidable educator with high standards who is an excellent match for our needs as an interim principal. We are confident he will work exceedingly well with staff and students and bring a wealth of experience from a well-respected high school.  His references emphasized his ability to work well with others and handle problems in a systematic and productive fashion.”

According to Dr Reed’s email, Interim Director of Human Resources David Abbey led the search for an interim high school principal. The search committee included NHS Assistant Principal Paul Jones, Physical Education Department Chair Kathleen Davey, and health and social studies teacher Tom Pescarmona. Dr Reed said the search committee recommended Mr Jaslow from “a very strong field of finalists.”

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