The school board has named Weston Middle School Principal Kenneth Craw as the new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Weston public schools.
Dr. Craw, who has been the middle school principal for four years, will fill the vacancy left by Tom Scarice, who stepped down in order to take a job as superintendent of the Madison school district.
The school board voted unanimously at its meeting Monday, May 21, to officially appoint Dr. Craw. He is expected to begin his new job July 1.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Dr. Craw. One of the benefits of being familiar already with the district’s programs, initiatives, culture, and community is that “I can hit the ground running,” he said.
Dr. Craw’s current salary as middle school principal is $155,147, plus a $2,000 doctoral stipend, for total annual compensation of $157,147. His salary as assistant superintendent is still to be negotiated. His predecessor, Mr. Scarice, was making $171,619 when he left the Weston school district.
When Mr. Scarice gave his notice in March, the school district hired Cooperative Education Services to conduct an executive recruitment search and conduct interviews with an initial pool of candidates. An Assistant Superintendent Search Committee appointed by the school board then conducted another round of interviews with candidates, and spoke with references of finalists, before choosing Dr. Craw.
In a press release, Lewis Brey, director of human resources for the Weston school district, said, “Dr. Craw has had a successful tenure as principal of Weston Middle School, and his impact on the education program has been significant.”
Mr. Brey said Dr. Craw led the AIM initiative at the middle school, a program pioneered by former Assistant Superintendent Scarice. AIM (Academic Innovation and Measurement) is a way to teach and test students in areas outside the core curriculum to better prepare them for the 21st Century.
“I’m very familiar with the district’s initiatives, particularly AIM,” Dr. Craw said. “We’ve built quite a bit of teacher capacity — more teachers are taking a lead role. That’s what I like to see.”
Mr. Brey also credits Dr. Craw with:
• Transforming the teaming model to allow for greater coordination among teachers.
• Leading the effort to revitalize and transform the middle school media center into a center of 21st-Century learning.
• Facilitating the transformation of the technology education program to include the implementation of Project Lead the Way.
• Directing the development of curriculum for a high-interest music program aligned with the district’s 21st-Century learning initiative.
Superintendent Colleen Palmer said, “Dr. Craw has shown himself to be an effective, innovative and collaborative leader whose commitment to excellence permeates all he does. His relentless focus on a quality educational experience for each student will serve him well in his new role. The fact that Dr. Craw is already part of our educational community is an added bonus in that he can hit the ground running in terms of furthering the ambitious agenda of educational initiatives. I look forward to welcoming Dr. Craw to our central office leadership team.”
Philip Schaefer, school board chairman, said, “Dr. Craw has been highly successful as the principal at Weston Middle School, and he has a wealth of knowledge regarding our district and the exciting changes that are taking place. His leadership and talent will be invaluable as we move forward with the strategic plan, AIM, and our goals for the future.”
Before coming to Weston, Dr. Craw served in several administrative and teaching positions in other Fairfield County school districts.
He was the administrator for staff and student services at Joel Barlow High School (Redding and Easton); a house principal at Trumbull High School; a K-5 science specialist, a 6-8 science curriculum monitor, and a science teacher in the Darien public schools; and a science teacher at Tomlinson Middle School in Fairfield, where he began his career in education in 1992.
Dr. Craw earned a doctorate in science education from Columbia University Teachers College, a sixth-year degree in education leadership from Southern Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in biology education from Brown University, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Amherst College.
Dr. Craw lives in Ridgefield with his wife and two children.
The school board acknowledged at its meeting Monday that it needs to move quickly to now fill Dr. Craw’s post at the middle school.
Superintendent Palmer said the job was posted at the end of last weekend and there is “an aggressive timeline for the application and selection process.”
On Monday, the board discussed the need to appoint as soon as possible a Middle School Principal Search Committee, but one has not yet been formed.
“By fast-tracking this process, it is very realistic to have a new principal named before we depart for summer,” Dr. Palmer said.