Luizzi: 'Visionary leader' named new principal at New Canaan High
After a three-month search, New Canaan Public Schools Superintendent Bryan Luizzi announced Tuesday the appointment of William D. Egan, a principal in Litchfield County known for his technology focused initiatives, as the next principal of New Canaan High School.
The post had been filled on an interim basis by Veronica LeDuc, an assistant principal, after Luizzi became superintendent last spring.
Egan, 44, has been principal of the Wamogo Regional High School in state Education District 6 since 2009, and held previous administrative posts of assistant principal of Brookfield High School for three years and Dean of Students at Norwalk High School for a year. His teaching career included classes in business, middle school language arts and math in Norwalk and other districts.
Egan's first day is July 1. He will earn a salary of $188,400, Luizzi said.
"I think we have the full commitment of the entire interview committee and very positive feedback and support for Bill," Luizzi said. "We feel he is a visionary leader who truly cares about students, staff, and the community, and feel he is the right choice to lead New Canaan High School today and into the future."
Egan, a Bethel resident, said that he is proud of his record of accomplishment at the Litchfield regional district, but is attracted to the job in New Canaan by the challenge of improving and maintaining the caliber of an already academically acclaimed high school.
"New Canaan High School has a reputation of being one of the best schools in the state, if not the country, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be part of that," Egan said. "It was a no-brainer for me."
After advertising the job nationally in January, a selection committee made up of teachers, parents, district administrators and others began evaluating candidates. The process included a leadership survey profile distributed online to all members of NCHS and the greater community, three rounds of interviews for candidates of interest, and focus groups of faculty, parents, and students.
Wamogo is one of two high schools in Connecticut, and 51 nationally, to be recognized as a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School, according to a media release from the district. Wamogo Middle School is the only school in Connecticut to be named a Spotlight School by the New England League of Middle Schools for 2014-2017, the release said.
The Wamogo high school has approximately 450 students in grades 7 to 12 drawn from the towns of Warren, Morris, Goshen and seven other regional towns in Litchfield County, Egan said.
Egan's leadership experience successfully integrating computers to improve science, technology, engineering and math instruction mirrored the goals of the selection committee, and were factors that Luizzi said made Egan stand out from a list of highly qualified candidates.
Expanding the use of mobile devices by students and expanding wireless capability in buildings are two major initiatives in the New Canaan school district.
At Wamogo Regional High School, Egan oversaw the implementation of a one-to-one program with his students, distributing Chromebook laptops that enabled real-time collaboration between students, the sharing of documents, and integrated other technological features into the learning experience, Luizzi said.
Teachers at Wamogo also took part in a program called Edcamp, which included training events to better verse his faculty in the use of the Internet and technology in the classrooms, Luizzi said.
The Wamogo school also introduced a so-called maker-space, which is used by students to use computer design software and a 3-D printer centered around the science, technology and math curriculums create and produce digital animations and videos, Luizzi said.
"He's done many innovative things with technology in the classroom," Luizzi said. "With the Chromebook program, the students use their devices to improve and enhance their learning."
LeDuc will return to her previous position as an assistant principal, Luizzi said.
Egan said he plans to begin visiting the district soon to get acclimated and meet teachers and parents.
"I think the draw to New Canaan is the wonderful school community as well as the community itself," Egan said. "Having an opportunity to be able to lead this school is wonderful, and the first thing I want to do is build strong relationships with teachers, parents, and community partners to improve already rich and thriving academic programs."