PROSPECT — The search for Long River Middle School’s new assistant principal ended in the Ridgefield public school system.
The Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, announced in a press release last week that Michelle Meyers has been hired as the new assistant principal for Long River. She will start the job on Nov. 1.
“I am pleased that someone of her professional caliber will be an educational leader in Region 16,” said Superintendent of Schools Tim James in the press release.
Meyers, 34, of Fairfield, has been a seventh-grade social studies teacher at East Ridge Middle School since 2002 and social studies department leader since 2006.
“I am very excited to begin my tenure with the district,” said Meyers in an email. “I am most looking forward to meeting the students and hearing about all the wonderful things they are doing in the classroom.”
The district received about 130 applications for the position, said James in a phone interview. A selection team screened the applications and interviewed six semifinalists, he said. The team chose three finalists, which were interviewed by the school board Sept. 30.
The board voted, 3-2, to hire Meyers Sept. 30. Board members Robin Wright, Sheryl Feducia and Nazih Noujaim voted in favor. Priscilla Cretella, board chair, and Donna Cullen, board vice chair, were opposed, according to the meeting minutes.
Meyers will replace Kristin Bernier, who took the principal job at Thomaston Center School in Thomaston earlier this year. Meyers will earn a salary of $104,501, which will be prorated since the school year has already started, James said.
Meyers graduated cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor of science degree in social studies in 2001. She went on to earn a master of arts degree in education and a sixth year certificate in educational leadership from UConn.
While attending UConn, Meyers was named a University of Connecticut New England Scholar three times and received the Thomas Weinland Fund Scholarship for “demonstrated commitment to teach secondary social studies and for her outstanding academic achievement,” according to the press release.
Meyers’ experiences include assisting in writing the social studies curriculum and aligning it to standardized assessments, assisting administrators and teachers in efficiently using a data management program and collaborating with administrators and colleagues to design and implement common assessments.
Meyers said she realized she wanted to be a teacher while working as a camp counselor with Girls Inc.
“It was during my time as a camp counselor, summers during my middle school and high school years, that I realized how important it is to make personal connections to your students for them to achieve,” Meyers said in the email.
Meyers said she chose to teach social studies because she always loved the subject, but never how she was instructed in the topic to memorize dates and names.
“I wanted to teach social studies so I could make it a challenging, exciting class for students,” Meyers said.
While she loves being in the classroom, Meyers said she wants to go into administration because she also loves teaching other teachers.
“Administrators effect change within the entire school, and I look forward to working collaboratively with Long River’s faculty, parents, students, and community as we continue to move forward,” Meyers said.
She added Region 16’s commitment to students and community impressed her, which is what attracted her to the position.
“Working in a district that puts students at the forefront is very important to me,” she said. “There are many changes in education right now, but I don’t want to lose sight of the most important reason that I became an educator — to help students achieve.”