The Madison school board appointed an Avon principal Tuesday to become the district's next assistant superintendent, Madison Patch reports.
Pine Grove School Principal Gail Dahling-Hench is leaving the Avon post she's served for six years to replace current Madison Assistant Superintendent Anita Rutlin, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
Dahling-Hench announced the news to the Pine Grove community in a letter she sent to parents on Wednesday night. She said she will specifically focus on curriculum, instruction and assessment in her new job in Madison.
"It is with mixed emotions that I share the news that this will be my last year at Pine Grove School, Dahling-Hench wrote in the letter she provided to Patch. "The opportunity to contribute to a district level position in the Madison Public Schools os work that will both be challenging and rewarding."
Dahling-Hench will start her new job with Madison Public Schools on July 1, Madison Superintendent Thomas Scarice said in a statement to the press. She was one of 35 applicants, he told Madison Patch.
Scarice said in a statement to Madison Patch that Dahling-Hench "excelled" in the interview process and welcomes her to the Madison "administrative team."
Before her time as Pine Grove principal, she was a "supervisor of language arts" and later assistant principal at the Scoville Road elementary school, according to information Scarice provided to Madison Patch.
"As I walk through the classrooms of Pine Grove School, I am proud of the work we have accomplished as a school community," Dahling-Hench wrote in her letter to parents. "I have been honored to work with such talented professionals, such dedicated families, and such exceptional children. Although our school might seem large to some, to me it feels like extended family."
Dahling-Hench has long been involved in education, studying elementary and early childhood education at Central Connecticut State University, where she also earned her master's and sixth-year degrees in educational leadership. That's where she obtained "superintendent certification," the release stated.
She is the second Avon principal to accept an assistant superintendent role in another district during the 2012-13 school year. Former Avon High School principal Jason Beaudin, an Avon resident, left the district at the start of the New Year to become assistant superintendent in Guilford.
"Although I am excited to start my new role, I will carry PGS close to my heart," Dahling-Hench wrote to parents. " I have learned a great deal in Avon and thank you for all your support. Twelve years at Pine Grove is difficult to leave and I am grateful to have the rest of the school year before I move on to another professional opportunity. I look forward to our continued partnership in the months to come."
What will Pine Grove School do without Dahling-Hench as principal? Have you interacted with her during your child's time there? What is your reaction to the news? Tell us in the comments!