Education


School Board Hires Tim Napolitano As New HOM Principal

Published: April 11, 2018 at 12:00 am

Print

Tim Napolitano, left, stands with Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue at the Board of Education's meeting on April 10, when he was voted to be the new principal at Head O' Meadow Elementary School following Principal Barbara Gasparine's…
Tim Napolitano, left, stands with Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue at the Board of Education's meeting on April 10, when he was voted to be the new principal at Head O' Meadow Elementary School following Principal Barbara Gasparine's retirement after this school year. (Bee Photo, Hallabeck)
The Board of Education unanimously hired at its April 10 meeting current Sandy Hook Elementary School Assistant Principal Tim Napolitano to be the new principal of Head O' Meadow Elementary School following the retirement of current school Principal Barbara Gasparine at the end of this school year.

Ms Gasparine announced her retirement in December. She has been serving as the principal at Head O' Meadow since the 2010-11 school year. She had previously served as the assistant principal at Sandy Hook School. Ms Gasparine succeeded former Head O' Meadow Principal William Bircher, who retired at the end of the 2009-10 school year.

Mr Napolitano's appointment will begin on July 1, and his salary will be set by the administrators' contract with the district. He first came to Newtown in 2000 as a first grade teacher at Sandy Hook School. He later taught at Reed Intermediate School, before starting his assistant principal position at Sandy Hook School in 2013.

"I'm just very excited with Mr Napolitano's appointment for principal of Head O' Meadow School," said board member Debbie Leidlein right after the motion was made.

Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue said Mr Napolitano has "all of the attributes that parents and staff were looking for in their next principal.

"He is smart, he is likable," Dr Rodrigue continued, "he is flexible."

Before the final decision was brought before the school board, Dr Rodrigue said a site visit was conducted by the board's search committee. It visited Sandy Hook School to speak "to those who know him best." Dr Rodrigue said they heard many accolades and adjectives like kind, thoughtful, supportive, intelligent, and more.

"At the end of each and every round at the site visit, someone inevitably ended with, 'Is there an opening at Head O' Meadow?' That says it all," said Dr Rodrigue. "Congratulations, Tim."

People in attendance stood and clapped for Mr Napolitano, and Board of Education Chair Michelle Embree Ku pointed out the celebration was not formal yet as the board had technically not voted. The board then voted unanimously with a hearty round of laughter.

Mr Napolitano also spoke after the vote. He thanked the school board for this new opportunity and thanked Dr Rodrigue for believing in him. He also said he will always consider the staff at Sandy Hook School as his family.

"Although we won't be together, I will take away friendships that last forever," said Mr Napolitano.

Mr Napolitano said it was fitting that after teacher first grade students at Sandy Hook School 18 years ago, he returned to the school to learn how to be an administrator.

"Being a new administrator five years ago I had wonderful mentors both in the school and district," said Mr Napolitano, naming Sandy Hook School Principal Kathy Gombos, Dr Rodrigue, and others.

Members of his family were in attendance at the meeting to support him. At the prospect of "working with another amazing team," Mr Napolitano said, "I'm excited to begin working with the students, families, and staff to continue the wonderful work that is happening under the leadership of [Ms Gasparine and Head O' Meadow lead teacher Carol Danenberg], and I can't wait to begin this journey with the Head O' Meadow community. By working together anything is possible."

Change Text Size:

This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
50% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2