Update Sept. 13 at 8:38 p.m.: 's newly appointed superintendent Dr. Van Riley, has a bit of an adjustment ahead of him. At least weather-wise.
The new superintendent is coming to Stonington from Southern California and with an expected Oct. 15 start date he will likely be well settled in before the first snow.
The Stonington Board of Education unanimously voted to appoint Riley as the new Superintendent of Stonington Schools at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting. His salary for the rest of the 2012-2013 year is set at $125,520.
Riley will begin earlier then the Board of Education had originally expected a new superintendent to start. Board Chairperson Gail MacDonald said would stay on for at least the first week while Riley settles in.
“He’s an outstanding educator and has the experience to hit the ground running,” Smotas said.
Riley was not present at the Board of Education meeting but sent the below letter to the Stonington Public School District.
Dear Members of the Stonington Public Schools Community,
I am thrilled to be the new Superintendent of Stonington Public Schools and I look forward to meeting and working with students, staff parents and all community members. I will spend the first few months listening to and learning from the Stonington community.
As a parent of two children, I know that every parent’s dream is for their child to reach his or her potential. As Superintendent, I believe my role is to provide an exceptional learning environment that ensures the success of each and every student.
I have visited Mystic and Stonington many times during the last several years and have always hoped to one day live in this area.
I feel honored to have been selected by the Board to serve your community.
Van Riley, Ph.D.
Riley retired as superintendent of the Huntington Beach Union High School District in California at the end of 2010. According to the Orange County Register his retirement came after more than seven years as superintendent.
Shortly before his retirement Debbie Coleman, staff member at the district office told the , she would miss Riley, and credited him with keeping the district in a great place during a difficult education time.
“The schools are highly ranked, we have avoided teacher layoffs, and we are in a great place," Coleman told Fountain Valley Patch.
Riley was one of two final candidates for the Stonington Superintendent position and MacDonald said it was her understanding that this was the only position he applied for.
“His dedication to students and will move the school district forward,” MacDonald said.
In a 56 percent of respondents said the top qualification for the superintendent should be curriculum knowledge, 10 percent said it should be local knowledge.
The Stonington Board of Education to find a new superintendent and named Smotas as Interim Superintendent this past May after the , superintendent since 2010. Masterjoseph took a position as the in Hartford, Connecticut.
Sept. 13, 2012 at 7:27 p.m.: Stonington Public Schools has a new superintendent. The Stonington Board of Education unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Van Riley as the new Stonington Schools Superintendent at Thursday's Board of Education meeting.
“He’s an outstanding educator and has the experience to hit the ground running,” Interim Superintendent Paul Smotas said.
Riley is the former superintendent of the Huntington Beach Union High School District in California, a position from which he retired in 2010.
He is expected to begin on Oct. 15.
Former Superintendent unexpectedly in May. She had been superintendent since 2010. After her resignation the Stonington Board of Education quickly formed a , and named .
Masterjoseph took a position as the in Hartford, Connecticut.
This article will be updated with more information soon.