Jun 292012

Superintendent Lynn McMullin and the Orange Board of Education introduced the new Turkey Hill School Principal-elect during a special meeting at the BOE meeting room on Thursday night.

McMullin posted Stephen Bergin’s bio on the BOE website, in which she stated that he was one of 50 applicants in a search chaired by Race Brook Principal Mike Gray.

The notice stated, “His nomination was supported by the BOE… Bergin comes to Orange with five years of valuable experience as a K-6 principal in Hamden and three years as an asst. principal in Westport, where he also taught at an elementary level. He earned his Sixth year degree from Southern and is currently a doctoral student at Boston College.”

It continued, “Bergin brings a wealth of experiences with data teams, technology integration and Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s). He impressed the interview committees with his open and approachable style an his strong reputation for collaboration and involvement in the school community.”

Bergin is the second Orange elementary school principal that the BOE has hired this year.

Principal Searches

Searches began after earlier this year both Ralph Nuzzo, Principal of Mary L. Tracy School and Al deCant, Principal of Peck Place School announced their plans to retire at the end of the school year.

Finding two new principals would be quite an undertaking, so McMullin and the Board followed a tried and true protocol to get everything in place in time for the start of the 2012-13 school year.

Four search committees were formed to find two new principals. They were comprised of teachers, parents and BOE members.

McMullin chaired the search for the Principal of Peck Place School. Committee number One interviewed candidates, then made their recommendation to Committee Two, which conducted its own interviews and made its decision and then brought it to the full Board for approval.

On June 11, Eric Carbone was introduced at the regular BOE meeting as the new Peck Place School Principal, replacing Al deCant.

Carbone was an Asst. Principal in Wallingford, with six years of experience [Elementary school level for 4 years, Middle School 2 years].

Under Mike Gray’s leadership, the second team of two committees chose Bergin as the Principal at Turkey Hill School.

STOP! What Happened to Colleen Murray?

This is where it may be confusing for some residents. Higher up in this story we mentioned that Ralph Nuzzo from Mary L. Tracy and Al deCant announced their retirements, so why on earth did the BOE need to find a new principal for Turkey Hill School? What happened to Colleen Murray?

On June 8, Orange Live published an article explaining all of these changes.

McMullin explained the Mary L. situation to Orange Live.

Ralph Nuzzo was Principal of Mary L. Tracy School with eight kindergarten classrooms and several pre-K classrooms. A part time director of curriculum rounded out the leadership at that school.

With the Board of Education’s approval, McMullin moved Turkey Hill Principal Colleen Murray over to the Central Office to become the Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Part Time Principal of Mary L. Tracy School.

“Mary L. has something called a 1.0 Lead Teacher, most of the teachers have a .84 contract and a 1.0 lead teacher. We restructured the 1.0 Lead teacher so that person has more leadership opportunities,” McMullin said. “Colleen will supervise the Kindergarten from here (Central Office) and be the Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

McMullin said, “If anyone has any questions about the process with which these principals were hired, the BOE has a protocol for it that is on our web page. Mike and I both followed the same protocol and it worked well.”

Bergin will be formally introduced to the public with a meet-and-greet at the July 9 Board of Education regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.

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