New District Staff Welcomed
New members of the Newtown Public Schools district staff were welcomed August 14, at the start of a weeklong orientation.
Interim Superintendent of Schools Lorrie Rodrigue, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Jean Evans Davila, and Newtown Middle School seventh grade social studies teacher Barry Palmer welcomed the group. Mr Palmer organized the week's events, and he said 11 or 12 new hires were expected to participate throughout the week.
The new staff members will participate in professional development presentations, such as a "Youth Brain Health First Aid" presentation by Dr Jeremy Richman of The Avielle Foundation. The week will also include a bus tour of the town, with Newtown High School science teacher Trent Harrison acting as the guide.
Dr Rodrigue was the first to speak at the start of the morning on August 14. She told the gathered group that she often hears from visitors in the district how special Newtown is. Dr Rodrigue said she feels that comes from understanding the importance of caring for students and a "real collaborative spirit" within the district.
"We take very seriously who we hire to bring into our family, our district," said Dr Rodrigue, before wishing the new staff members luck.
Ms Davila said each member of the Newtown Public Schools community matters.
"In our estimation," Ms Davila said, "you belong here and you are going to help our students and families."
Sharing that she hopes the new hires have a wonderful experience in Newtown, Ms Davila added, "We want you to make this your home for many years."
After introductions, Mr Palmer shared a review of the day's agenda.