New assistant superintendent a familiar face
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Oct. 6, 2011
The Glastonbury Board of Education has hired Matthew Curtis to fill the void left by the departure of Assistant Superintendent Jeffrey Kitching. Curtis was a fifth-grade teacher at Gideon Welles from 2001 to 2006, before serving as assistant principal and later principal of Squadron Line Elementary School in Simsbury. Most recently, Curtis has been the director of human resources for the Simsbury public school system.
Curtis, a resident of Ellington, also spent time in Glastonbury, with Superintendent Dr. Alan Bookman as his mentor, while completing his internship as part of his superintendent certification through the University of Connecticut. “He had to put in 120 hours of time here in Glastonbury,” Bookman said. “I got to know him more so during that time.”
Curtis said that his return to Glastonbury is one he'd been hoping would come along. “I thought that if I ever have an opportunity to come back, it would be great,” Curtis said. “In my experience as a teacher, I was so supported and mentored by administrators and other strong veteran teachers, that the desire to come back in a different capacity was always there. I feel pretty fortunate.”
Curtis will be overseeing human resources and personnel, Bookman said, as well as overseeing the director of transportation and having major responsibilities for elementary education.
“I think there are some similarities, in regard to the personnel side,” he said. “The hiring, recruiting and retention of staff is certainly a really important part of an organization, and one I'm pretty passionate about.”
Particularly, Curtis said he is looking forward to working with the K-5 administrators. “One thing I'm really excited about is the opportunity to collaborate with all staff, and to get to know and support people,” he said. “I'm looking forward to working with the elementary principal group. As a former elementary principal, I have a passion for that age group, and that type of curriculum and instruction.”
Bookman said that experience is part of what made the decision easier. “When his application came in, he certainly had all of the experience that we wanted,” Bookman said. “We wanted somebody with some background in elementary education. We thought that would be a good fit for us, since my own background is in secondary education, as is that of the other assistant superintendent [Dr. Rosemary Tralli].”
Bookman added that the additional duties Curtis had as HR director in Simsbury, such as overseeing transportation, were also encouraging. Curtis was among several applicants, and among the five that were selected to be interviewed. “He was clearly a standout,” Bookman said. “It was a home run for us.”
Simsbury, Curtis said, has been a great experience at both the school and the administrative offices. “I've had the opportunity to work with a very smart, talented and progressive-thinking office team that has exposed me to a lot of things that I hope to be able to come and share with the equally-talented people in Glastonbury,” he said.