Bryan Luizzi, currently the principal for Brookfield High School, is set to succeed Tony Pavia here in New Canaan High School starting July 1.

"After an extensive search involving a blue ribbon search committee comprised of teachers, parents, board members, and administrators; a senior search consultant; focus groups for faculty, staff, students, parents, and community; a leadership profile survey; careful screening; two rounds of interviews; and several well-qualified candidates, Dr. Luizzi clearly emerged as the top choice," New Canaan Superintendent of Schools David Abbey said.

Luizzi is excited about his new opportunity.

"As you can imagine, I am thrilled to be joining the New Canaan community in July as the principal of New Canaan High School. Throughout the process, I have been quite impressed by the dedication, passion and expertise of the members of the New Canaan school community," Luizzi said. "When I met with the 21 members of the comprehensive search committee comprised of teachers, parents, administrators and board of education members, I was inspired by their commitment to their students and their love of their school. From all accounts, New Canaan is a wonderful school community, and I am honored by this opportunity to serve as the next high school principal."

In terms of credentials, Luizzi has served a variety of posts for many years. He is currently completing his fifth year as principal of Brookfield High after serving as an assistant principal there for two years. Before that, he served as assistant principal of Whisconier Middle School, dean of students at Litchfield High School, manager of technology operations with Newtown Public Schools, and an English teacher in Newtown as well. Additionally, Luizzi teaches two graduate courses at Central Connecticut State University regarding administration and curriculum development. He also holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Columbia University, a master's degree in instructional technology from Sacred Heart University, a sixth-year certificate in educational leadership from Western Connecticut State University and a bachelor of arts from Clemson in Secondary English Education.

"He has been a tremendous asset," Anthony Bivona, Superintendent of Brookfield Public Schools said. "He is a very strong instructional leader. He has a very strong academic background. He has lead the high school to some pretty significant improvement changes going to a block schedule."

Bivona also explained Luizzi's familiarity in the area of technology and also as a member of the community.

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"He was very instrumental in moving the school towards Google apps. Incoming freshmen in Brookfield will be outfitted with an iPad," he added. "He not only has a great rapport with students but with everyone. He is a very active community member. He will be missed. I hate to see him go."

Even though Bivona feels as though he is losing a great leader, he expressed high praise for New Canaan and Luizzi's next challenge.

"It is a great opportunity for him," Bivona said. "New Canaan is a very strong academic high school and they are getting a great instructional leader."

Still, while Brookfield might be sad to see him go, administrators in New Canaan are excited and hopeful Luizzi can bring New Canaan High School into a new era.

"We are delighted with the selection. We think it's a home run," Nick Williams, Board of Education chairman, said. "It's certainly difficult to replace Tony Pavia, who is to some extent a living legend as a high school principal, but if anyone is willing and able to do that it's Bryan."

Interviews for the principal position began March 15. The administration developed a 21-person committee led by Assistant Superintendent Steve Swerdlick. The committee itself was comprised of teachers, parents, board members and principals. In addition to the committee, the administration enlisted the help of Eliza Holcomb, a senior search consultant with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE). Much of what the committee and administration will based their decision on came from a leadership profile compiled by Holcomb with the help of parents, students, faculty and Pavia himself.

"We met with students, probably about 30 to 35 students. They were incredibly insightful. It was really remarkable," Abbey said. "It was really helpful to get their insights on where the schools was, what they liked so much about Mr. Pavia and what they would like to see in a future principal."

Williams stressed how in depth the selection process was and how it signifies New Canaan's dedication to education.

"They did a comprehensive interview process that narrowed down the list of candidates to five finalists," Williams said. "At the end of the day, Bryan Luizzi was the choice out of some highly qualified candidates, and I think that is a testament to the reputation of our district."