Retiring educator helped establish Woodland

BEACON FALLS — Assistant Principal Maureen Carroll, who was part of the pioneering group of staff and teachers to open Woodland Regional High School nine years ago, is retiring at the end of the year.

Carroll, 63, who began as an English and history teacher here before serving in her current post, has submitted her resignation. It’s effective June 30.

Woodland Regional High School's Assistant Principal Maureen Carroll talks on the phone in her office Friday. Carroll started out as a history teacher at the school when it opened in 2001 and later moved to her current position which she is now preparing to retire from.

Woodland Regional High School's Assistant Principal Maureen Carroll talks on the phone in her office Friday. Carroll started out as a history teacher at the school when it opened in 2001 and later moved to her current position which she is now preparing to retire from.

She said Friday she will miss working with her colleagues and students, but she now wants to enjoy her family. Carroll and her husband, James, 64, a campus minister and religion teacher at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, made a joint decision to retire together, she said. They had been considering it for a while, but the birth of their fourth grandchild was a catalyst.

And now they have a fifth grandchild on the way in May.

“We live to see them and love being with them,” Carroll said.

The Region 16 Board of Education last Thursday accepted her resignation, dated Feb. 3, with deep regret. Board of Education Chairwoman Lisa DeGoes said the board appreciates Carroll and what she has given to the school community.

“She is Woodland, and we will miss her deeply,” DeGoes said.

Carroll started her teaching career at the former Waterbury Catholic High from 1974-75. She also worked at several other high schools, including 14 years at Naugatuck High School.

Carroll, who was at the board meeting, said she told the board that she saved the best school for last.

“I feel lucky to join in that pioneering group,” she said.

She worked three years as an English/history teacher, and has served in her current post for the last six years. As assistant principal, she deals with discipline issues, staff scheduling, grading issues and also works on the K-12 social studies curriculum.

In her office, a colorful quilt she made graces a plain green wall. A lone green box seems to pop outside of the other squares. To her, it means thinking outside of the box, and she believes it sets a tone in her office.

Through all her years here, it’s the people who matter the most, she said.

“To me, it’s rewarding working with people and helping them to find and achieve goals” she said.

She and her husband have three daughters, all of whom live in Virginia. Her mother, Evelyn FitzMaurice, 91, lives in Southington. Carroll said she and her husband are considering splitting their retirement between Connecticut and Virginia.

She also said she will miss the energy, dedication and vitality of the staff and students. At Woodland, one actually sees learning and respect, she said.

Arnold Frank, the school’s principal, said Carroll is an intelligent and sensitive educator whom he will miss.

“It’s been a real privilege to have worked with her for the last nine years,” he said.