City Hill principal resigns

Brian Hendrickson has resigned as principal at City Hill Middle School to become assistant superintendent of schools in Suffield. –RA ARCHIVE
Brian Hendrickson has resigned as principal at City Hill Middle School to become assistant superintendent of schools in Suffield. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — City Hill Middle School Principal Brian Hendrickson tendered his resignation Wednesday, the morning after he was hired as assistant superintendent in the Suffield public school district.

Hendrickson, 40, has worked as a Naugatuck public school administrator for seven years. He was hired as an administrative intern at Maple Hill Elementary School in 2008 and became principal at Hop Brook Elementary School two years later. He took the helm at City Hill, the borough’s lone middle school for students in grades seven and eight, in 2012.

He was paid $137,876 a year to lead the 680-student school.

“The thing that stands out to me about my time in Naugatuck is just the pride the community has, the warmth and the welcoming community here,” he said. “There is a lot of positive energy and momentum to do the work that schools do.”

That momentum will continue as Hendrickson moves on to the next level of his career, school officials said. Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke met with Hendrickson and other administrators Wednesday to put together a transition plan so that a principal is in place before students arrive on Sept. 2 for the first day of the new school year.

“We’re working on a plan and reaching out to the Board of Education and unions before that plan is finalized,” Locke said.

As of Wednesday, Hendrickson’s last day had not been determined.

Hendrickson has been known for his work in trying to implement team-building programs for students. He said a highlight has been working with families and students.

He said the community has been supportive of efforts at City Hill, as has the Board of Education and Naugatuck Youth Services.

“Looking back on everything, you have a solid group of parents, students, educators, central office staff,” he said. “Everyone is pulling in the same direction to get the best outcome for kids.”

Hendrickson taught sixth-grade geography and eighth-grade history in Trumbull, where he served as a team leader and department coordinator, before coming to Naugatuck.

At City Hill, he implemented a program, similar to one he started at Hop Brook, called “feed the right wolf,” which was intended to help children make the best decisions for their future. Last week, he announced a program called Wingman, which is a collaboration between the school and Dylan’s Wings of Change, a nonprofit organization founded to honor Dylan Hockley, one of the students killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14, 2012.

The Wingman program aims to teach children to be more inclusive with each other and model positive behavior.

“It’s about putting kids at the center of their education so they know that the most important part of their future is themselves — not just themselves, but each other,” he said. “Having an intentional approach to making that happen has been a major focus for City Hill and the district.”

He said that program will continue this year.