School board hires new assistant principal for Woodland

Ryan Mackenzie

PROSPECT — The Region 16 Board of Education last week appointed Ryan Mackenzie to fill an assistant principal position at Woodland Regional High School.

Mackenzie, a Prospect resident, has been the assistant principal at Haddam-Killingworth Middle School in Killingworth since October 2014. Before that, he worked as a math teacher, starting in August 2006, at Haddam-Killingworth High School in Higganum. Both schools are in the Region 17 school district, which is comprised of Haddam and Killingworth.

Mackenzie has a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and sixth year in educational leadership all from the University of Connecticut.

Mackenzie said Woodland’s commitment to students and the Region 16 community attracted him to the job. He added the position allows him the opportunity to return to the high school level and continue growing as a building leader.

“Woodland is a school that provides relevant, authentic and rigorous learning opportunities for all its students,” he said. “I look forward to working with a faculty and community that strives to produce dedicated, well-rounded and civically-responsible young adults.”

Mackenzie’s salary will be $131,159 for the 2018-19 school year, according to Region 16 Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin.

The assistant principal opening attracted 120 applicants, Yamin said. He said Mackenzie stood out due to his energy, job experience and “clarity in his vision of how to perform his practice, and the fact that he uses student outcomes and student performance as how to hold himself accountable.”

Being a Prospect resident, Yamin said Mackenzie is personally and professionally committed to Region 16.

The appointment of Mackenzie marked the final step in a restructuring of the administrative positions at Woodland.

Previously, Woodland had a principal, assistant principal, a combined assistant principal and athletic director, and a part-time dean of students. The dean of students, which handled student disciplinary issues, was a stipend position held by a teacher.

The restructuring made the assistant principal and athletic director position into strictly an assistant principal position. The change gives Woodland two assistant principals whose jobs are to focus solely on academics.

The dean of students and athletic director positions were combined to create the athletic director and dean of discipline position, which will handle disciplinary issues and oversee athletics.

The school board appointed Brian Fell, who held the former assistant principal and athletic director position, to be the athletic director and dean of discipline in June.