2 principals to resign in No. Branford

By Rachael Scarborough King
Nov. 16, 2007

NORTH BRANFORD — It was a night of goodbyes for the Board of Education Wednesday, as Superintendent of Schools Robert Wolfe announced the resignations of two elementary school principals, and thanked three outgoing board members for their work.

Totoket Valley Elementary School Principal Nancy Brittingham and Stanley T. Williams School Principal Karen Johnson will be leaving their positions in the coming months, Wolfe said.

Brittingham will continue through the end of the school year, while Johnson will leave at the end of December.

Wolfe said that Johnson, who has been with the North Branford schools about 10 years, is moving to North Carolina for reasons related to her husband’s career.

Johnson could not attend Wednesday’s meeting because of parent conferences at Stanley T. Williams School, which serves kindergarten through second grade.

“Karen was knowledgeable about so many tasks,” Wolfe said. “I wish her and her husband a wonderful new life in the South.”

Brittingham is retiring after nearly 40 years in education, Wolfe said.

She has worked in North Branford for 14 years.

Totoket Valley is a third- through fifth-grade school.

Wolfe called Brittingham a “consummate professional.”

“She has brought a wealth of knowledge to this particular school,” he said. “She is very clinical in her ability to recognize and help teachers.”

Outgoing board Chairwoman Cheryl Smith told Brittingham that she was an asset when Smith first moved to the area and visited the school with her daughter.

“It made for a very smooth transition because you were so happy to see her, even though she was a complete stranger child, so thank you,” Smith said.

Brittingham said she told the staff at Totoket Valley about her resignation Wednesday morning.

“It’s been a wonderful place to land here for the last 14 years,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot from my students and my staff and my colleagues, and I hope I’ve taught a little as well.”

The Board of Education voted to accept both resignations.

Wolfe said that a search committee will be formed to fill both positions, with the starting date for the jobs in July 2008.

That means the board will have to appoint an interim principal for Stanley T. Williams School.

Wednesday’s meeting was also the last for board members Smith, Elisabeth Caplan and Ron Haskins.

Newly elected members Deborah Prunier, R. Chris Manna, both Democrats, and Republican Nancy Lappie will fill their positions.

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