July 1, 2022

Region 4 School Board Names Kristina Martineau as Valley Regional High School Principal

REGION 4— The Region 4 Board of Education has appointed Kristina Martineau, the current interim principal, as principal of Valley Regional High School.

Martineau, who was first hired by the district as associate principal in 2008, was appointed at a special meeting Tuesday after a final interview with board members.

Six of the nine elected board members turned out for the meeting to approve the selection of Martineau on a unanimous vote. Three board members were absent Tuesday, Elaine Fitzgibbons of Chester, Chris Riley of Essex, and Richard Strauss of Chester. The other finalist in a selection process that began in February was Todd Snyder, a former history teacher and current assistant principal at Sheehan High School in Wallingford.

Martineau, who lives in Guilford with her husband and two children, holds a B.A. in English from Loyala College in Baltimore, Md., and an M.A. from the University of Newcastle in England. She also has an advanced degree in educational leadership from Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport.

Martineau began her career in 2001 as an English teacher at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield. She was dean of students at the Fairfield school for a year before coming to Region 4.

Martineau was named interim principal at the high school last October after the abrupt departure of Eric Rice from the position. Rice, a Chester resident who is Strauss’s son-in-law, was hired as principal last July, but left the job in October amid reports he had been given a resign-or-be-fired ultimatum from Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy. Neither Levy nor Rice has commented on the specific circumstances of his departure, which generated questions and criticism from some district residents. Rice received a $62,150 severance payment from the school district.
In a statement, Levy said the board and “multiple interview committees” were “impressed with Kristina’s overall knowledge, commitment to excellence, strong leadership skills, exceptional personal style, and enthusiasm for high school students.”

“We are certain that she will sustain and encourage an ongoing commitment to a culture of caring, high achievement, and mutual respect within a safe and productive school environment,” Levy said.

Board Chairwoman Linda Hall said she pleased with the selection of Martineau. “I think it was a very thorough process that involved community members, staff and students,” Hall said, adding “Kristineau has done a wonderful job as interim principal.”