A Newington school administrator has been chosen to be the next superintendent of schools in Enfield.
Dr. Jeffrey Schumann, deputy superintendent of Newington schools for the past five years, was announced as the replacement for the retiring Dr. John Gallacher at a special meeting of the Enfield Board of Education Tuesday night.
Schumann is coming on board in the midst of a major reconstruction of the Enfield school system. Two elementary schools were closed at the end of the 2010-11 school year, elementary buildings have been reconfigured into K-2 and 3-5 alignments, and sixth graders have moved to Kennedy Middle School. Next on the horizon is the planned consolidation of the town's two high schools.
"The high school consolidation will be an emotional and passionate issue to take care of," Schumann said. "Working with all the people in the community to make that as smooth as possible will be the first thing to get going on."
Schumann comes to Enfield with more than three decades of public school experience in Connecticut. He began his teaching career in Wethersfield in 1980, and moved to Newington High School in 1998 as an assistant principal. After five years, he became principal of the Martin Kellogg Middle School in Newington in 2003, and held that post until taking his current job in 2006.
In a prepared statement, school board chairman Greg Stokes and board member Judy Apruzzese-Desroches said they "were impressed with Dr. Schumann's extensive experience and skill levels which aligned with many of the key qualities collectively defined and desired for the next Enfield superintendent."
During a site visit, board members met with Newington's superintendent, Board of Education chairperson and mayor, as well as the local presidents of the teachers and AFSCME unions and his peer administrators. Those groups reported Schumann excels in a wide variety of areas, and does so "with grace in a fair and honest way that has earned him the respect of all,", the statement said.
Schumann will officially begin his duties upon Gallacher's retirement in July 2012, but said he would spend time getting acquainted with the school board and staff prior to that date.
"John and I will meet in the next week or so, and talk about how much he wants me to have some face time up here," Schumann said. "The more the better for me, the more I'll learn, but it is his district for the next eight months. We're doing to do it his way, and hopefully he'll teach me the things I need to know and we'll be ready to go in July."