New vice principal, more instruction time among the additions at Sage Park

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Fri., Aug. 9, 2013
Sage Park Middle School was recognized by the Connecticut Association of Schools as Middle School of the Year for the academic year 2013-2014. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

When Sage Park Middle School students return on Aug. 27, they will notice a few changes at the Middle School of the Year, according to Principal Paul Cavaliere, Jr.

After Grade 8 Vice Principal Mark Foley was appointed principal of another Connecticut school, the district realigned the other two assistant principals. Cavaliere said vice principals William Fisher, now overseeing Grade 8, and Liana Jorgensen, now Grade 7, will have more responsibility. In order to fill the Grade 6 position formerly occupied by Jorgensen, the central office accepted applications from faculty within the district.

“We didn't need to look at anybody on the outside because there were multiple people within the Windsor public schools who had the right certifications and were interested in the job,” said Cavaliere.

Once applications were reviewed and interviews were conducted, the district decided to promote Sage Park Middle School's own Jonathan Schneider. Cavaliere said Schneider, an art instructor, has been a teacher at the school for the last 13 years and was looking to become an administrator. Cavaliere said that Schneider has organized professional development activities for the teachers over the last several years.

“He is a strong faculty member,” said Cavaliere. "He has been chairman of some very important committees. In fact, co-chair of the committee that got this award [Middle School of the Year 2013-14].”

The Grade 6 vice principal position is “a little bit unique” in that the role involves being an administrator 60 percent of the time and a teacher 40 percent of the time. Essentially, this means Schneider's time will be split between working with the sixth-graders coming into the school and instructing his art classes. Cavaliere said Schneider will be responsible for teaching two classes each day.

Aside from the new assistant principal, the district has also added five minutes of instruction time each school day. For Sage Park, this means school will start five minutes earlier. “We look at that as a big bonus, because over the course of 180 days, that is many hours,” said Cavaliere.

Cavaliere noted that Connecticut Mastery Test scores have yet to be released, because of a hold at the state level. However, the school is still planning to continue its success and better the students’ learning experience, as it strives to do every year.

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