School board names new early childhood center coordinator

Kristine Murphy-Salvucci. -CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — A familiar face in the district will take the reins of the borough’s early childhood education center later this year.

The Board of Education last week appointed Kristine Murphy-Salvucci coordinator of the Early Childhood Center at Central Avenue. Murphy-Salvucci will start in July when Giacomina Bacon, the coordinator of the school, will retire. Murphy-Salvucci’s starting annual salary will be $103,095.

Murphy-Salvucci, 42, of Middlebury, has been teaching since 2004. She started her career teaching fourth grade in Waterbury. In 2008, she took a teaching job at Andrew Avenue Elementary School, where she taught third and fourth grade. In 2013, Murphy-Salvucci became the reading consultant for Andrew Avenue, a position she still holds.

The Early Childhood Center houses the school district’s School Readiness and Head Start programs.

Murphy-Salvucci said she sought the coordinator position because she enjoys working with young children and is interested in early childhood literacy.

“The idea of being able to work in a school where we are able to get kids ready for the rest of their education is really intriguing to me,” Murphy-Salvucci said.

Murphy-Salvucci said she also wants to make sure everyone has the best first impression of the school district.

“This is a family’s first experience with the Naugatuck public schools and the kids’ first experience with the Naugatuck public schools. I want to make sure that is a positive experience for them,” Murphy-Salvucci said.

Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke said Murphy-Salvucci stood out for the job and the district didn’t feel the need to interview other candidates.

“Early on in the process, Ms. Murphy-Salvucci rose to the top as our sole candidate to move forward,” Locke said.

Locke said Murphy-Salvucci has everything the district wants in a director for the school.

“She is both warm and a hard worker. So she has the people skills and the technical skills we were looking for,” Locke said. “I am thrilled she has agreed to join us in this position.”

Locke said the board decided to move forward with hiring Murphy-Salvucci this early so that she will have time to get used to the school and work with Bacon.

“I am looking forward to getting over there and meeting the teachers and staff,” Murphy-Salvucci said.

Murphy-Salvucci said she wants to talk with the staff to see what is working at the school and if there are any areas that can be improved. However, she doesn’t have any plans to just come in and make changes immediately.

“I feel it is about building relationships in the first few months,” Murphy-Salvucci said.