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Reed And Sandy Hook School Assistant Principals Switch Positions



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Reed And Sandy Hook School Assistant Principals Switch Positions

By Eliza Hallabeck

The week following the end of the 2010-11 academic year, desks, chairs, and other classroom furniture lined the hallway to allow the rooms to be cleaned at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where Jennifer Sinal spent the last year as assistant principal and where Anthony Salvatore took over the position this week, moving from his position as assistant principal at Reed Intermediate School.

“I think these will be good strong teams at each of the schools,” said Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson. “I’m looking forward to seeing them tell me how much they enjoy being at the grade levels.”

For both Ms Sinal and Dr Salvatore the new positions offer a new experience in their educational careers. Elementary school is the last age group Dr Salvatore has yet to work with, and the intermediate grades are the last grades Ms Sinal has yet to work with.

Ms Sinal said her year working at Sandy Hook School with Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung was a life-changing experience and a gift. Before she became the assistant principal at Sandy Hook School last summer, Ms Sinal taught language arts at Newtown Middle School.

Sandy Hook School, she said, is an incredible community with high expectations, but she is excited for her new journey at Reed, where she will work with Principal Sharon Epple.

“I’m sure I am going to love this age group,” said Ms Sinal. “They are going to be great. They can change the world, these kids. You just have to give them the tools to implement it.”

While Ms Sinal will know some of the students at Reed Intermediate School next year, the incoming fifth grade students from Sandy Hook School, she said she is ready to meet all of the fifth and sixth grade students at the school. Ms Sinal said she wants all Reed students and parents to know that her door is open, and she is there for them.

Ms Sinal and Dr Salvatore began their new positions on July 1. Both said their new positions in the school district will help foster a more cohesive learning environment from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Every age group, Dr Salvatore said, has its own characteristics, and, like Ms Sinal, Dr Salvatore said he is ready to see what he will learn from his new position. Dr Salvatore began his career in Newtown at Newtown Middle School, teaching language arts in 1999, before he went to Reed Intermediate School as assistant principal when it opened in 2003. Being a member of the team that opened Reed, he said, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The pair shadowed each other before the school year ended to learn from each other, according to Dr Salvatore. He also said he has no agenda for projects or initiatives at Sandy Hook School yet, but said he will look for ways he can make things better and make connections to the fifth and sixth grade curriculum. A seamless curriculum between the grade levels and schools, Dr Salvatore said, has always been talked about in the school district, and he believes the two new assistant principals will be in the right locations to make that a possibility in the future.

For next year’s Sandy Hook School students, Dr Salvatore said, “I look forward to working with them as a new experience, and I hope they continue to read over the summer. That is really important, especially to a language arts teacher.”

The decision to have Ms Sinal move to Reed and Dr Salvatore move to Sandy Hook School was made during an executive session of the Board of Education during its meeting on June 7. Board of Education Chair William Hart said the board does not vote on where to place district administrators or other personnel, because that power rests with the superintendent. However, the issue was brought before the board for notification.

 “[Dr Robinson] is trying to make sure that we have the best practices across the district,” said Mr Hart.

He also said Dr Salvatore has been a good member of the administrative team, and in the past year Ms Sinal has shown herself to be “a star performer.”

Having Ms Sinal at Reed and Dr Salvatore at Sandy Hook School, Mr Hart said, will give an opportunity to gain a fresh look at both schools, especially at Reed, where Mr Hart said the intermediate school environment is not a simple one to oversee across the state.

Any time a change or move occurs during a career, Dr Robinson said, a new level of energy is found.

“I think this is basically a good plan to keep things moving around a little bit, keep the team as a total team,” Mr Hart said.

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