Heckt named superintendent of Bolton school system
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Bolton - posted Tue., Nov. 20, 2012
Kristin Heckt, formerly the principal of Timothy Edwards Middle School in South Windsor, will be taking the helm of the Bolton school system as superintendent. She takes over for Dr. Joseph Wood, who was appointed interim superintendent after the departure of former Bolton Superintendent Paul Smith last August.
Heckt taught English and social studies in the Windham school system at both the high school and middle school level from 1990 to 2000. In 2000, she became an associate principal at Timothy Edwards Middle School in South Windsor, until January 2006, when she was named principal. She received her bachelor of art degree in English at St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford, and then took a fifth year certification program at the University of Connecticut. She later received a master of art degree in special education at the University of Connecticut, and then took the sixth year certification program at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. In 2009, she received the executive leadership certification through the University of Connecticut, which certifies educators to be superintendents.
Heckt is no stranger to managing large numbers – Timothy Edwards, with 1,100 students, is larger than the entire student population of Bolton, which numbers roughly 900. Though what makes her well-suited to this role is her expertise in curriculum and instruction, especially during times of change.
“It's been a time of great change for the last number of years in education,” said Heckt. She has a track record of successfully collaborating with staff in the midst of policy shifts, from No Child Left Behind to the new Common Core State Standards. Schools across Connecticut are implementing the Common Core in their curriculum in preparation for the revised Connecticut Mastery Test in 2014. As Bolton also adapts to the new standards, the experience Heckt gained at Timothy Edwards, where she helped work with staff to create Common Core units, will be vital.
Integrating other state mandates, such as new teacher evaluations, policies regarding bullying, and policies related to promoting positive culture in schools, will also fall under Heckt's purview as superintendent. “Timothy Edwards has a very positive culture – Bolton does as well. It's a good transition for me, going from one positive culture to another,” Heckt said.
With recent technological upgrades made to the high school and Bolton Center School, Heckt is well aware of technology's role in the classroom. “Technology is what our kids breathe, know and love,” she said. “It plays an integral role in teaching and learning.” Though it is important, she notes that technology is not the “the end-all and be-all,” but rather a tool to aid instruction. She is also a strong proponent of embedded professional development, which will help teachers develop units that fulfill Common Core standards and support student learning.
Heckt herself is looking forward to joining a community that is passionate about education. “Everyone that I've met in Bolton loves their schools. They love what they do there, they're so proud of it, and I can't wait to become part of that culture,” she said.
“I'm excited and delighted to be joining the Bolton community, and I look forward to working collaboratively with the Board of Education, the staff and families to continue to develop the excellence that defines Bolton public schools,” Heckt said.