Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! I hope our students and their families had a relaxing and enjoyable summer.
I am looking forward to an exciting year and I am thrilled to be part of the Suffield Public Schools as your Interim Superintendent. I believe that students learn best when they are encouraged to take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning opportunities, persist in problem-solving and make connections with their teachers. I will continue to work with our very talented teachers, leaders and faculty to provide each child with a challenging, purposeful and relevant educational experience.
As a parent and community member it is always sad to say goodbye to our teachers. Please join me in wishing the following teachers and support staff well as they embark on their next adventure. Spaulding teacher Lucy Shepard with 40 years of service; Spaulding teacher Holly Reinhard with 27 years of service; Spaulding teacher Carmel Godfrey with 25 years of service; McAlister teacher Joe Rapuano with 20 years of service; Suffield Middle School teacher Phyllis Hameroff with 21 years of service; Paraprofessional Lori Silva with 23 years of service; and Academic Support Mitch Charkiewicz with seven years of service; Special Services Director Natalie Donais with two years of service. Thank you very much. You have made a difference and we will miss you.
Please join me in welcoming Mr. Jim Blain as the new Suffield High School principal and Mr. Ken Smith as the new Suffield Middle School principal. We are also welcoming 16 new faculty members to the Suffield Public Schools: Jen Underkoffler, Lindsay Kaselouskas, David Rosa, Melanie Sabol, Leah Slawinowski, Abby Bowtruczyk, Karen Lawrence, Brittney Easter, Alissa Whitlock, Sarah Forth, Brooke Schomburg, Christina Dugan, Olivia Raum, Kevin McKenna, Marilee Trompke, and Aaron Patterson.
We are excited to start the new school year with an expanded commitment to the health and wellness of our students, faculty and staff. The Board of Education just approved a revised Wellness Policy, which was drafted in collaboration with our wellness committee that consists of administrators, teachers, Board members, parents and a student. The policy maintains compliance with changes in state law. It’s designed to foster a district-wide culture aimed at enhancing student outcomes and decreasing childhood obesity by promoting health and wellness in schools.
The policy focuses on two areas: 1) nutrition promotion and education, and 2) physical activity and physical education. The wellness committee will continue to meet this coming school year to plan ongoing improvements in each focus area. Among the most noticeable changes for this school year, student birthday celebrations will now be food-free and treats for classroom-wide celebrations will need to be store bought with ingredient labels. The wellness committee is also working to expand healthy options for students and staff in our cafeterias, publicize calorie counts for food sold in schools, and expand physical activity breaks offered to students. We look forward to their recommendations in the coming months and years.
I wish all our students, faculty and staff a wonderful 2018-2019 school year and I am looking forward to working with all of you to continue to improve our schools.