Restructuring of NHS administration on the table

NAUGATUCK — School officials are looking into reorganizing the administrative structure at Naugatuck High School for the 2017-18 school year.

Under the current structure, the four administrative positions are principal, associate principal, and two deans of student life.

Naugatuck High School Principal Jan Saam said the two deans primarily handle discipline and support teachers in the classroom. The associate principal and principal are primarily the instructional leaders, making decisions that affect the entire school.

Saam said the current job descriptions do not encompass everything the people in those positions do. The restructure process will look at the current job descriptions, what the people in those jobs actually do and see if there is a way to streamline responsibilities and make the best use of the personnel, she said.

The move comes after the school district was unable to find a suitable candidate to replace former Associate Principal Eileen Mezzo, who was named principal at City Hill Middle School last fall.

“Our unsuccessful search for an associate principal prompted us to reflect and think critically about the design of the administrative structure at NHS. We believe the roles and responsibilities of the high school administrative team can be re-fashioned to build a more cohesive approach to leadership where high expectations for academic and behavioral learning are more tightly connected,” Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke stated in a letter that was sent to NHS staff.

Saam said the restructuring process has just begun and that it’s too early to speculate on the end result.

“I’m not sure what it will look like when we are finished. It may end up being what we’ve got,” Saam said.

What is known, is the administrative structure for the coming school year.

The Board of Education has named former Dean of Student Life Tom Pompei interim associate principal. Brian Mariano, who currently serves as interim athletic director, has been named interim dean of student life to replace Pompei. James Leary is the other dean of student life at NHS.

Pompei has been a dean of student life at the high school since 2012 and was athletic director for 10 years until he stepped down from that role earlier this year. Mariano became the school’s interim athletic director immediately following Pompei.

“Brian was interim athletic director for half of last year and he did an amazing job. I have no reservations he will do great as interim dean,” Saam said.

The district will continue to move forward with gathering information and ideas for the restructure throughout the school year. Locke stated in the letter the hope is to have a new structure in place by July 2017.

School officials are working the Naugatuck Administrative Negotiating Association union, which represents administrators, on the restructuring. The union’s contract ends June 30, 2017 and the two sides are set to negotiate a new deal.

“The administrators union will be going into negotiations so we thought that was the perfect time to explore options,” Saam said.

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