Beecher Road School will have a new principal for the upcoming school year as the two existing schools are restructuring into one. The new solo-principal administrative structure will transform the school from a primary house and an intermediate house, to one Pre-K through Grade 6 school beginning in September.
At a special meeting of the Woodbridge Board of Education, the board unanimously accepted Superintendent Guy Stella’s recommendation of Gina Prisco as the new leader of Beecher Road School. Stella says Prisco brings a rich background of professional experience to her position here in Woodbridge. She has extensive expertise as an elementary and middle school administrator, and has taught at both the elementary and middle school levels.
According to Stella, “Mrs. Prisco is an energetic, hands-on instructional leader with a child-centered approach to education. Among other things, she loves working with and coaching teachers, as well as establishing close links with parents and community. Officially starting on July 2, Mrs. Prisco looks forward to serving the Beecher Road School community.” She comes to Woodbridge from West Haven, where she was principal at Pagels School.
Stella explains the change: “The school restructuring moves Beecher Road School from a dual principal model with one principal in charge of the Primary House and MAG (multi-age group) and one principal in charge of the Intermediate House, grades 3-6 – to a Principal/Assistant Principal model with oversight of one school, Pre-K – 6.” Carol Bequary, current Principal of the Primary House, will retire at the end of June. Donna Pagé, interim principal of the Intermediate House, will complete her year of service at the end of June as well.
An independent firm led by former Interim Superintendent of Woodbridge Schools Jim Connelly was hired to conduct a search for a new principal to lead the newly restructured school. The position, according to Stella, was advertised on a state, regional and, through Education Week, on a national level. Over 30 applicants applied and Connelly used a vetting and interview process to narrow the pool down to six strong candidates.
The district’s 15-member selection committee included teachers, support staff, administrators, district office personnel, parents and school board liaisons. After two comprehensive interview sessions, the committee unanimously agreed to send the name of one candidate to the Superintendent for consideration. That candidate went through a series of additional steps on the district level including an intensive one-on-one interview with the Superintendent and a site visit to the candidate’s present school where she is a principal.