West Woods Gets New Principal; Central Office Reorganized

Post-graduation BOE meeting results in several high level changes.


The current principal of Wintergreen Magnet School will be exchanging that office for the principal's office at West Woods School come September.

Michelle G. Coogan was named West Woods principal Thursday evening at a special Board of Education meeting held after the Hamden High School graduation.

Coogan will replace Barbara Nana, who is retiring after more than three decades in Hamden. 

Nana could not be reached for comment this week.

At Central Office, change also is in the air as two supervisors are switching jobs.

Asst. Supt. Marie Jordan Whitney will take over the position of Director of Instruction.

"I don't think we could find anyone better with curriculum than Marie," Supt. of Schools Fran Rabinowitz. "In the last four years she has moved the district forward."

Jordan-Whitney requested the job change, Rabinowitz said, despite the fact that it pays about $10,000 less than her current job.

"She is taking a sizable reduction in pay because she feels this is where her talents are used best," Rabinowitz said.

Christopher Melillo, who is now the director of elementary education, will take on Jordan-Whitney's responsibilities as assistant superintendent of teaching and learning as of July 1.

BOE chairman Michael D'Agostino said he sees a bright future for Melillo in the Hamden school district.

"We do see increasing future leadership roles for you," D'Agostino told Melillo.

The board also hired a Milford school administrator for the position of Director of Pupil Personnel Services.

Kimberly A. Planas was the supervisor of special education in Milford public schools, and Rabinowitz said she wants Planas to help expand special education offerings here.

While the positions at Central Office have been reorganized, no new positions were added, Rabinowitz said.

Jennifer June 22, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Wondering who will be Wintergreen's next principal?
Charles Baltayan June 22, 2012 at 02:52 PM
We should be wondering who the next supeintendent and Chairman of the BoE will be! Oh, wait, Mr. D'Agostino shuffles administrators that on the surface look to be duplications of jobs and sees a bright future for the new Asst. Supt. Melillo. Enough of the politics already and get to teaching. Maybe New Haven has the right idea in eliminating the principal at the High School in the Community and letting the Union administrate the teachers...although there is no accountability in house for parent complaints, professional teachers can probably teach better without the administration we have and we save money on double-dipping bosses!
George Levinson June 22, 2012 at 03:21 PM
I'm confused about the Director head count. Sounds to me like they are eliminating the Director of Secondary Education position and replacing it with a Director of Pupil Personnel Services? Is the Director of Instruction, Ms Jordan-Whitney, a replacement or a new position? This taxpayer is gonna bet they try to add another director in the end. After all, what's another $130,000 to this big-time, over-funded BOE? I still want to know why a small district like Hamden needs 31 administrators.


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