School brass receive good grades, raises

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Sharon Locke holds up a Naugatuck Greyhounds hoodie after being hired as the next superintendent of schools last year.  FILE PHOTO
Sharon Locke holds up a Naugatuck Greyhounds hoodie after being hired as the borough’s superintendent of schools last year. FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Education is pleased with the job the top two school officials are doing in the borough.

The school board gave positive evaluations to Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke and Assistant Superintendent Christopher Montini at the July 9 meeting. The board also approved raises of 2 percent and 2.5 percent for Locke and Montini, respectively.

“You’ve demonstrated an incredible work ethic and have worked tirelessly as Naugatuck’s educational leader during your first year as superintendent,” Board of Education Chairman David Heller told Locke, who started as superintendent in July 2014.

A new evaluation system implemented this year ties raises for non-union employees to performance. In the past, the school board allotted a flat percentage raise across the board.

Heller said through Locke’s hard work and commitment, the district has made strong progress in regards to its goals and objectives over the past school year.

“This past year our students have achieved tremendous academic success and improvement as measured by the district’s assessment scores,” Heller said.

Locke’s salary increased to $165,240. She has two years left on her contract.

“It’s the conclusion of this board that you have been an effective and successful leader throughout your first year as superintendent of the district,” Heller said.

The evaluation also offered areas where Locke can improve, including continuing to develop a process to hire and retain personnel, utilizing all opportunities to communicate with the community through the district’s website, and more frequently visiting each school to spend additional time with students and staff.

“It’s not improvement, it’s growth to get from great to even greater,” Heller said.

Locke said she looks forward to continuing to learn and grow in her role as superintendent.

Christopher Montini. –RA ARCHIVE
Christopher Montini. –RA ARCHIVE

“I really believe the role I play in this community can have a profound impact on the lives of the students. I take it really seriously and I’m committed to continuing to do the best I can do every day and continuing to learn and grow in this position,” Locke said. “Thank you for the opportunity and it’s my pleasure to serve in this community.”

The board had positive things to say about Montini, as well. Montini started as assistant superintendent in the 2013-14 school year. The 2.5 percent raise brings his salary to $146,370.

“Every penny we pay Mr. Montini is money well spent. He’s a bargain at any price. He works endlessly,” Heller said. “He’s just a wonderful, hardworking, dedicated, inspirational employee.”

Locke spoke highly of Montini, saying he helped her make the transition to Naugatuck.

“As a new superintendent I could not have made a transition to this community without Mr. Montini. He is a pleasure to work with and I think we make a dynamic team. I’m glad he was here,” Locke said.