By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer
NAUGATUCK — A familiar face is moving up the administrative ranks in the Naugatuck school system.
The Board of Education this month unanimously hired Cross Street Intermediate School Principal Melissa Cooney as assistant superintendent of schools. Cooney will start her new position on July 1.
“It truly is my greatest joy to work in service of Naugatuck children and families,” Cooney said. “We’re doing some amazing work, curriculum work and work with confidences to ensure that all of our students become our ‘vision of the graduate’ here at Naugatuck.”
Cooney has been principal of Cross Street Intermediate School since July 2013. Before that, she was principal of Western Elementary School from July 2008 until June 2013, according to her resume.
Cooney, a Naugatuck resident, started her education career in 1998 as an elementary school teacher in Hartford Public Schools. She also worked as assistant principal at Clark Elementary School in Hartford before taking the principal position at Western Elementary School.
She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wheelock College in Boston and received her sixth-year in educational leadership from Central Connecticut State University.
Board of Education Chairman Jeff Litke said the board posted the job opening internally and externally. He said 26 candidates applied. Cooney was the only internal applicant, he said.
“We chose Melissa because of her commitment, dedication and contributions not only to our district but our community,” Litke said. “She is an educational leader that is able to create bonds and connections with students, parents and colleagues and believes in an equitable education for all of our kids.”
Cooney will take over for Assistant Superintendent of Schools Christopher Montini, who will start as superintendent of schools on July 1. As of last week, Cooney’s contract as assistant superintendent wasn’t finished.