Suffield Resident David Petrone Named 2024 Outstanding School Superintendent

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David Petrone has been named the 2024 Outstanding School Superintendent by the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education Alumni Board. Petrone was formally recognized at the Neag School’s 26th Annual Alumni Awards Celebration on Saturday, March 9.

After graduating with his master’s degree in education with a concentration in special education from UConn’s Neag School of Education in 1992, Petrone received his sixth-year diploma through the University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) in 1999 and, most recently, earned his Executive Leadership certification in 2012.

Since 2012, Petrone has served as the superintendent of Coventry Public Schools (CPS), and prior to that, he served as a school administrator for 12 years. In his current role, Petrone advocates for preparing his more than 1,600 students for life, learning, and work in the 21st century.

Petrone has successfully achieved this goal by implementing a one-to-one device program for students K-12 and a full-day kindergarten program, along with numerous partnerships he fostered with state colleges and universities to provide college-level instruction for Coventry students.

“Dave has put Coventry ‘on the map’ with initiatives like one-to-one student technology and innovative programs to meet the needs of all learners. Coventry is ‘moving the needle’ in terms of student achievement with continual increases in smarter balanced results over the past seven years,” says nominator Joseph Macary, superintendent of Vernon Public Schools. “In addition, the student graduation rates have increased during the past five years to over 96%.

Dave’s leadership style and personal character are grounded in doing what is best for children and their education – that is his greatest attribute.”

As superintendent, Petrone has been instrumental in creating new programs to adequately accommodate all students’ needs. Petrone created the Coventry Leadership Academy, redesigned the K-12 reading intervention program, and created specialized in-district programs to meet the needs of specific groups of students, such as a program for students identified with autism and Coventry Academy.

In 2020, the district’s G.H. Robertson School was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.

This award annually honors a UConn Neag School of Education graduate who demonstrates excellence and has made significant contributions to their profession. 

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