UPDATED: When students returned to Hurlbutt Elementary School in Weston on Monday, Oct. 1, they had a new principal.
Michael T. Cicchetti, former superintendent of the Redding, Easton and Region 9 (ER9) public schools, was appointed by Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer as interim principal of Hurlbutt on Friday, Sept. 28, effective Oct. 1.
He is expected to serve until the end of the school year, when the school board hopes to name a permanent replacement for Joanna Genovese, who resigned Sept. 18.
Ms. Genovese’s resignation followed the discovery Sept. 13 that she did not hold all of the required credentials to continue to serve in an administrative position. She was immediately placed on paid administrative leave prior to her resignation, and Kenneth Craw, Weston’s assistant superintendent, served as a temporary interim principal for the past week and a half.
Lewis Brey, director of human resources for the school district, said, as per the contract between the Weston Board of Education and the Weston Administrators Association, Dr. Cicchetti will earn an annual salary of $153,974, pro-rated to reflect his Oct. 1 start date.
Dr. Cicchetti served in ER9 for one year before retiring in 2011. He was superintendent in Berlin, Conn., from 2005 to 2010, assistant superintendent in Simsbury from 2000 to 2005, and director of elementary and secondary education in Wethersfield from 1992 to 2000.
Before becoming an administrator, Dr. Cicchetti was principal at Robert J. Vance Elementary School in New Britain (1985-92). He worked for Norwich public schools from 1983 to 1985 as the director of art, music and education, and he began his career in Farmington in 1978 as a music specialist (K-6). He served there as the 9-12 instrumental music director, and eventually as the K-12 music department chairman.
In a press release issued by the school district Friday morning, Sept. 28, Superintendent Palmer said she is glad to have Dr. Cicchetti on board in Weston.
“This has been a difficult period for the Hurlbutt Elementary School community and the community as a whole. Dr. Cicchetti brings many years of distinguished experience to the role of interim principal and he will be an exceptional addition to our leadership team,” Dr. Palmer said in the release.
Dr. Cicchetti earned an education doctorate in administration, training and policy studies from Boston University; a sixth-year degree in supervision and curriculum from Central Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in education from Trinity College, and a bachelor’s degree in music education form the University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music.
Dr. Cicchetti was a member of the Tri-State Consortium Superintendents’ Study Group. He attended the Columbia University Teachers College School Law Institute and participated in several leadership symposiums at Harvard.
“Dr. Cicchetti’s extensive leadership experience, his commitment to elementary education, and his love of the arts will be tremendous assets for Hurlbutt Elementary School,” Dr. Palmer said in the press release.