August 10, 2020

Region 4 Goes Back to School Today

REGION 4— Region 4 schools open today for the 2010-2011 academic year with a new principal at Valley Regional High School and 21 new teachers (most replacing retiring teachers) for the five schools in Chester, Deep River, and Essex.

Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy Thursday praised the efforts of district custodians in preparing the school buildings for opening day. “All of our buildings are ready for children to walk in to and they look absolutely spectacular,” she said. “Our staff is ready and we’re excited about the new school year.”

The principal job at the high school opened up after Ian Neviaser, an Essex resident who had served as principal since 2008, was selected as the district’s new assistant superintendent. Eric Rice, a Chester resident who worked previously as principal of a science and engineering magnet school in Hartford, was selected for the principal job in July.

Peter Foxen, a Rocky Hill resident who has worked for the past decade in the Portland school system, is the new associate principal at John Winthrop Middle School. Thomas Peterlik of Deep River is the new director of food services for the school district.

An early retirement incentive program offered last winter to generate savings in the education budget led to the retirement in June of 17 veteran teachers. Nearly all of those positions have been filled, along with a handful of new positions that were created to meet shifts in student enrollment.

New teachers at the high school include John Harris-social studies, Maryann Donagher-art, Christopher Allegretti-math, and Deborah Montenegro-chemistry. New hires for the middle school include John Woitovich-special education, Matthew Mesite-math, Kathryn Ryan-math, and Cara Rothman as the new director of the school’s library/media center.

Diana Mirante is a new second grade teacher at Essex Elementary School. New teachers at Chester Elementary School include Nicole Larson-grade 4, Kelsey Parente-grade 3, Brian Klasner-teacher’s assistant, and Lori Lenz-art. The new teachers at Deep River Elementary School are Brian Drinkard-physical education, Jennifer Raney-grade 6, Rachel Anderson-grade 5, Jill Shakun-grade 1, and Catherine Miller- remedial reading and language.

Kristin Menard is the new reading and language consultant at Deep River Elementary School.

Three new teachers were hired for the supervision district, providing services for more than one school, including Gary Stevens-art, Dina Monaco-special education, and Angela Fachini-foreign language. There are also six new para-educators, including Jodi Azzinaro, Jill Joes, Kristie Scanlon, and Allison Quagan at Deep River Elementary School, and Lynn Fishkind and Suzanne deJongh at Essex Elementary School.

Levy said the new television station will be in full operation at the high school this year, providing video coverage of athletic events and other school programs. Work is also expected to begin during this school year on a solar photovoltaic unit to be located on the roof at the middle school. The project, which will be paid for by grant funds, is expected to reduce energy costs for the school.