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Elementary schools name new principals

Published 5:51 pm, Monday, April 28, 2014
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New Canaan Public Schools announced two new appointments Monday afternoon.

Kristine R. Woleck was named principal of East Elementary School and Jan M. Murphy was named principal of West Elementary School.

Woleck has served as assistant principal at West Elementary School since October 2013 and assistant principal at East Elementary School from August 2011 until her move to West, according to a press release.

With an extensive background in mathematics education, she joined New Canaan Public Schools as the mathematics specialist at South School in 2002 and served as New Canaan's Elementary mathematics coordinator (K-5) from 2004 to 2011. Prior to joining NCPS Kristine was a staff developer in Hudson, Mass., and a first-grade teacher in Wilton.

In addition to instructional and administrative roles within New Canaan Public Schools, in 2009 Woleck was selected as one of 10 classroom teacher fellows nationally in conjunction with the United States Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program. She is also a published writer.

Woleck graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University with a bachelor's degree in child studies. She received her master's in education from Bank Street College and a sixth-year diploma in education administration from the University of Connecticut.

"I know I speak for many when I say I am very excited to welcome Kris (back) to East and the new opportunities available to her as its principal," Director of Human Resources Gary Kass said in a press release. "She has been an exemplary educational leader and has consistently demonstrated her dedication to excellence on so many levels."

Murphy comes to New Canaan Public Schools from Wallingford Public Schools where she most recently served as principal of K-2 at the Cook Hill School. Prior to taking a sabbatical leave, Murphy served as principal at Cook Hill School from 2008 to 2012. Her sabbatical year was devoted to exploring 21st Century Innovation as part of a team for the Wallingford Public Schools.

Murphy earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Connecticut State College. She received her master's in education from the University of Houston, her sixth-year degree from the University of Connecticut, and her seventh-year degree from the University of Bridgeport.

Her education includes an emphasis on mathematics education and gifted/talented education. Murphy's professional background as an educator includes experience as a STEP teacher (gifted/talented grades three through five), math specialist (gifted/remedial) and a fifth-grade teacher. She has been recognized as Wallingford Administrator of the Year 2009, Connecticut State Teacher of the Year Semifinalist 2005-06 and Wallingford Teacher of the Year 2005-06.

"We are excited to welcome such an accomplished educational leader as a member of our district," Superintendent Mary Kolek said in a release. "Jan has been consistently characterized as a caring, highly effective, innovative educator and highly collaborative team member and promises to be a strong fit for a leadership team that values such attributes and efforts."

Woleck and Murphy are slated to start on July 1.

Kass led both search committees which included administrators, faculty and parents. One Board of Education member sat on each committee.