Opening Day Enthusiasm
Principals reflect on New Canaan Public Schools’ First Days of School
In their annual Opening of School Reports to the BOE this week, all five of the district’s school principals provided enrollment and staffing numbers as well as remarks that were as reflective as they were informative regarding the first days of the 2018-2019 school year.
Each principal offered observations on student and staff experiences, school goals, plus their own personal insights on the excitement and optimism that pervades at the beginning of a new school year.
New Canaan High School Principal Bill Egan commented that the nearly 1,300 students coming to the high school “arrived with an energy that only they can bring. One of the many things that I admire about our kids is they love to have fun, but when it’s time to work, they’re ready to get down to business,” he said.
Saxe Middle School Principal Dave Gusitsch, beginning his first year as principal, said: “Welcoming over 1,300 middle-level adolescents into one building within an hour may seem frightening to some, but we considered it a joyous return to the new school year,” he said. “I was able to visit each classroom on opening day and was continually impressed and amazed by their focus and attention on their planned lessons, and it really seemed as though they didn’t miss a beat.”
West Elementary School Principal Jan Murphy said: “We have a saying at West, ‘Make it a great day.’ And it was a great first day at West. We are focused on continuing our work with our school goals on empathy.”
South Elementary School Principal Joanne Rocco said: “We also had a great start to the school year, and we’re really grateful for air conditioning,” she chuckled. “Student learning will be enhanced through increased opportunities for staff to collaborate, learn from each other, and utilize each other’s expertise and resources.”
East Elementary School Principal Kris Wolek said: “We are excited also at East to begin the new year. There were smiles all around. I’m not sure who’s smiles were bigger or who was more excited, the students or the staff, because truly those first days are special. I think it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of the profession. Each year you have the opportunity to start fresh and start new. And that’s for teachers as well as students. I think everyone cherishes that.”