NAUGATUCK — The Board of Education didn’t have to look far to find a new dean of students for Naugatuck High School.
The school board this month appointed Brian Mariano a dean of students at the high school. Mariano was Naugatuck’s director of athletics, activities, K-12 PE, health and wellness — a position that oversees athletics and physical education and health and wellness curriculum — for the past couple of years.
“He’s really the perfect fit for the high school right now,” said Naugatuck High School Principal John Harris, adding Mariano has a wealth of experience and a warm energy that students respond well too.
Mariano’s salary for the 2019-20 school year is $125,547, according to the administrators’ contract. Mariano will cover the athletic director duties until his replacement is hired.
“The move is kind of bittersweet,” said Mariano, a 35-year-old Prospect resident.
Mariano said he enjoyed being athletic director — a position that was a natural fit for the Naugatuck High graduate who was a standout athlete in high school and college — but he felt the position limited his ability to have a larger impact on the school since it focuses on athletics. Mariano got a taste for the dean of students job when he filled it in a interim role several years ago. He said he saw the position as his next opportunity to have a greater influence on the school and students.
There are two dean of students at the high school. Mariano is filling the vacancy created when Thomas Pompei resigned this summer to become principal at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury. Traditionally, the positions have dealt mostly with disciplinary issues. While he will handle disciplinary issues — kids are going to be kids, he said — Mariano wants to evolve the job to proactively work to address school culture and climate.
Mariano earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in kinesiology from Indiana University. He got his master’s degree in health education from Southern Connecticut State University and his 6th year degree in educational leadership from the University of New England.
Mariano has spent his entire education career in Naugatuck, starting as a physical education teacher at City Hill Middle School, and went through an administrative internship in the district.
Mariano said he it means a lot to him to be appointed dean of students and it’s an opportunity for him to give back to the district.
“The district has put a lot of time and effort to really grow my capabilities as a leader,” he said.