Familiar face to return to Lebanon

·3 min read

May 14—LEBANON — After four years as a principal in East Hampton, former Lebanon Elementary School Principal Andrew Gonzalez will be returning to the Lebanon school district.

This time, however, he will have a much different role.

The Lebanon Board of Education chose Gonzalez to be the new superintendent of schools during its meeting Tuesday.

" I still care deeply for that community. So to be given that great responsibility of leading that district was something I was very interested in and pursued," said Gonzalez, who lives in Windham.

Gonzalez was principal of Lebanon Elementary School from July 2012 to June 2017.

" We are delighted to be welcoming Andy back to Lebanon," Lebanon Board of Education Chairperson Sarah Haynes said in a press release issued Wednesday. " We know he brings high expectations and team spirit in pursuit of excellence."

Gonzalez has been principal at Memorial School in East Hampton, an elementary school, for the past four years.

He said the community in East Hampton has been "very supportive" and he is very happy there.

However, Gonzalez said Lebanon " has a special place in my heart."

" I'm confident that with the current team of teachers and administrators, with the talent that they bring to the table and with the support that the community gives us, that we will be able to meet those high expectations and standards for all," he said.

Gonzalez will begin his new job July 1, taking over for interim Lebanon Superintendent of Schools Patricia Ciccone.

Ciccone took over in January after former Lebanon Superintendent of Schools

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Robert Angeli left the district to work as superintendent in Killingly.

Ciccone's last day will be June 30.

" Mr. Gonzalez rose to the top of the group, demonstrating a thorough understanding of educational excellence, communicating a collaborative, open and team- focused leadership style and demonstrating a deep commitment to Lebanon and its schools," Haynes said.

She said Gonzalez will earn $172,400 and his contract will run through June 30, 2024.

The superintendent search was led by Mary Broderick, a consultant who works for Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) Search Services.

Input was gathered from many stakeholders, including staff, parents, students, community members and board of education members.

Haynes said the board of education took its responsibility to find the " best possible candidate" very seriously.

" We conducted an extensive search and were delighted to have attracted a robust pool of candidates with excellent experience and credentials," she said.

Gonzalez began his career as a tutor for English language learners at Lisbon Central School, an elementary school in Lisbon, and, after that, he spent six years teaching grades 3, 4 and 6 at Sayles School, an elementary school in Baltic.

Before working at Lebanon Elementary School, he was assistant principal at Bolton Center School, an elementary school in Bolton, his first administrative role.

Gonzalez has a bachelor's degree in business management, master's degree in education, sixth- year degree in educational leadership and superintendent certificate, all from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.

Follow Michelle Warren on Twitter — @mwarrentc.