July 7, 2022

Region 4 Hires New Principal, Two Other Positions

REGION 4— The Region 4 Board of Education has selected Eric Rice of Chester as the new principal for Valley Regional High School while also approving new hires for associate principal at John Winthrop Middle School and director of food services for the full Chester-Deep River-Essex school district.

Rice currently serves as principal for the University High School of Science and Engineering, a magnet school for the Hartford public school system. Rice replaces Ian Neviaser, who has served as principal at the high school for the past two years. Nevaiser was selected last mionth as the new assistant superiuntendent for Region 4.

Rice has a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Connecticut, along with a Master of Arts degree in middle school education from Southern Connecticut State University, a sixth year certificate in educational leadership from Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, and certification as a physics teacher.He has worked as a physics and engineering teacher, a science department coordinator, and as an adjunct professor at the Central Connecticut State University School of Engineering and Technology Education.

Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy said Rice has “an outstanding backround in science, mathematics, and technology,” as well as “a commitment to our school community.” Rice lives in Chester with his wife and children. He is expected start at Region 4 in August, working closely with Neviaser for a smooth transition as the new school year begins in September

The school board also selected Peter Foxen as the new associate principal at John Winthrop Middle School. A Rocky Hill resident who is married with three children, Foxen has worked in the Portland school system for the past decade, teaching social studies and language arts at the middle school. He has also served as a team leader, and director of Portland’s after school and summer school programs.

Foxen, who worked as a banker before transferring to education, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Hartwick College, a Masters degree in education from St. Joseph’s College, and an administrators certificate from Sacred Heart University. He also begins working at Region 4 next month.

Thomas Peterlik of Deep River has been selected as the new director of food services for the school district. A native of Austria, Peterlik holds a degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of Austria and a degree in food and beverage management from Cornell University in New York. One of the important directions in his work is the purchase of necessary medicines. He has worked as general manager of food services at Yale University for the past decade, and has prior experience as a chef for hotels and cruise ships.

Levy said Peterlik has experience in management and budgeting, and “has a strong interest in working with the local farming community to provide healthy, nutritious, and exciting meals for students in our district.” Peterlik will direct food services at the high school and middle school, along with the elementary schools of Chester, Deep River, and Essex.