Orange Board of Ed Has An Administrative Position to Fill as Colleen Murray Parts

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Sep 212015

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 7.26.20 PMThe Orange Elementary school system has seen changes in its top leadership positions in the past year.

Former Superintendent Lynn McMullin left Orange for the same title in Litchfield.

Michael Nast was good enough to come in on an interim basis until a replacement could be found and the Board of Education hired Vince Scarpetti, a Milford Middle School Principal to replace McMullin.

At the time, it had been said that Colleen Murray, Orange’s Director of Curriculum & Instruction was yearning for a superintendent’s job of her own after dedicating more than half her life to educating children and giving so much to Orange over the years as a school principal, then as McMullin’s right hand person during her tenure.

On Thursday, Sept. 17, Murray enthusiastically accepted the superintendent’s position in the town of Bethany.

The Bethany Board of Ed was impressed by Murray’s vast experience in the education field. • 20 years as an elementary school teacher in Milford • dean of students in the Monroe School District •  assistant principal and later served as a school principal for ten years in the Trumbull school district • Orange school district as principal of Turkey Hill School and then Director of Curriculum & Instruction.

At least two Bethany board members said Murray was their first choice of the six applicants they interviewed from a pool of 17.

At Thursday’s meeting, Murray said, “I am honored to be your superintendent. It’s a responsibility not to be taken lightly.”

She is expected to begin at the end of October.

Peck Place Parents and Students Check Out The New School Space at Yale

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Jan 292014

The front entrance to the new Yale-Peck Place school.

The front entrance to the new Yale-Peck Place school.

The parking lot of the Yale West Campus saw more full parking spaces on Tuesday night than since it was home to the Showcase Cinemas decades ago.

Parents and students from the Peck Place community flocked to the site to get their first glimpse of the new Peck Place School digs in a corner section of the vast college campus.

Supt. Lynn McMullin and just about everyone from the Orange Board of Education were on hand for the open house, including Principal/Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Mary L. Tracy, Colleen Murray, who greeted and hugged the children just as she did when she was principal of Turkey Hill School.

Peck Place Principal Eric Carbone stopped to talk to as many of the 375 children and their parents as he could. One boy who hadn’t seen him in a while asked why he had a beard.

“I’ll shave it again soon,” he assured the child.

Of his school’s new temporary home, Carbone said, “We love it. It’s outstanding. It was a total team effort from everybody in Orange to everybody at Yale to make this happen. The kids are ecstatic , they want to see it, explore their new spaces, and tomorrow will definitely be a great day.”

First Grade teacher Pattie Moffet greeted her students and graciously accepted a large box of hand wipes from a parent. She spoke to selectman Mitch Goldblatt and explained how wonderful everyone was in getting the space set up for the kids.

Another teacher told parents that one difference between Peck and the Yale Campus was that there are no water fountains, so children will have to bring bottled water that can be refilled in the sink, but she was delighted that the movers brought her tissue boxes over from her old classroom.

She hugged students that she hadn’t seen in a while and told them that they would all be together again tomorrow.

Parents seemed to be very impressed and pleased with the look and layout of the space. “Our kids will be begging to go to school now,” one dad told an administrator.

Rebecca Brandriff, Director of Finance and Administration for the Yale-West Campus has been especially busy this month.

Her job was to get all the necessary approvals from the University to move Peck Place to the West Campus and helping Carbone facilitate the move from one school to another.

“Eric has been wonderful,” she said of Carbone and her experiences working with him in this crisis.

As far as the school busses dropping off and picking up and having everything run smoothly Brandriff said, “We have a map, we have a plan and all of our staff is aware of what is happening — we’re looking forward to the first day.

She said the campus has beautiful hiking trails that teachers and students can use and nature often comes to the building which will thrill the children. “We have lots of deer that walk around here and the kids will be able to see them up close as they eat their lunch in the cafeteria,” she said. “I know they’ll love it.”

One special event awaits the sixth graders in June. Brandriff said Yale West will host their graduation ceremony in the campus auditorium. They will be able to say that they graduated “at” Yale — not “from” Yale — but pretty darn close.

A parent named John said his son will miss his new friends at Race Brook School, but it will be nice to get back to some sort of normalcy with his old classmates.

The Peck Place Students are expected to arrive at the Yale West Campus Wednesday morning shortly after 8 a.m. to the bright lights and big cameras of the local news media. (Update: The snow caused a 2 hour delay this morning)

We wish everyone luck and happiness in your new “temporary” home.





Two New Principals, But Not What You Think

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Jun 082012

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 (later this month).

So, one might think that this would mean that the Board of Education would have the undertaking of finding new principals for Mary L. and Peck Place right?

Not quite.

It turns out, the Principal searches are actually for Peck Place and Turkey Hill Schools.

Why? You ask. Where did Colleen Murray go? Well — now follow closely.

Peck Place

On Monday night, June 11, at the regular Board of Education meeting, Eric Carbone will be introduced as the new Peck Place School Principal.

The BOE met Carbone, an Asst. Principal in Wallingford, with six years of experience [Elementary school level for 4 years, Middle School 2 years], on Monday June 4.

The search was done by a dual committee: committee number one initiated the process and then turned over the work to the second committee. “He was the unanimous choice of both committees,” said Supt. Lynn McMullin.

Carbone is the father of two boys. His wife is a Spanish teacher at Amity Middle School.

If the transition from Wallingford runs smoothly, Carbone could begin his job on July 1.

Turkey Hill

The Principal search for Turkey Hill is currently in the first interview phase — Committee number one is interviewing candidates, about seven applicants thus far, (which should now be completed).

Committee One will make their recommendations to Committee number Two, which will conduct its own interviews of these recommended candidates and make a decision in the neighborhood of June 18-19.

Shortly after the committees have completed their task, the Board of Education will hold a special meeting at which it will meet the recommended candidate.

What about Mary L Tracy?

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.

About the searches

Race Brook School Principal Mike Gray is leading the Principal Search for Turkey Hill School.

“It’s a huge undertaking for him, but he’s doing a terrific job,” McMullin said.

McMullin was chairman for the search committee for Peck Place School.

“We have a protocol for it that is on our web page if anyone would like to see it,” she said. “Mike and I are both following the same protocol and it is working well.”