principal Bryan Luizzi understands the power of getting parents, teachers and even students on board with big ideas.
Luizzi, who , comes from Brookfield High School in Brookfield, CT. There, he spent two years developing a new scheduling system.
The schedule lengthened classes, built additional time for collaborative learning among teachers, and even blocked out mandatory reading periods for students.
Such a dramatic change initially concerned some parents and teachers. But Luizzi teamed with students and faculty to make sure the changes met their needs.
"I understand how important it is to have conversations with folks," he said. "It wasn't like we presented [the changes] overnight."
As a result, there were few problems or complaints when the new schedule was finally put into place. In fact, it was very popular in Brookfield, and has been adopted by other schools in the area.
Luizzi is careful to caution that he isn't planning on imposing this schedule system to New Canaan. But he has pledged to bring an emphasis on team-building to the high school.
"The school is everybody's," he said. "If you want to put changes in place that are sustainable, you do it by building consensus."
Luizzi began his career as an English teacher. He also worked to incorporate technology into classrooms before transitioning to administration. For the last seven years, he's been working at , first as assistant principal and then as principal.
The schools have a lot of similarities, Luizzi said. But he cautioned that he isn't trying to turn New Canaan into his former stomping ground.
"Both are successful high schools," he said. "But I didn't come to New Canaan trying to make New Canaan like Brookfield."
In his first few months on the job he'll focus on learning the ins-and-outs of NCHS. "I want to make sure everyone has a voice," he said.
He said he'll be looking at ways to incorporate technology into education through programs that allow students to bring their own devices to class.
"I'm very interested in technology in education," he said. "One of the things I'll be looking at is leveraging technology for learning."
He still teaches courses on administration and curriculum design one night a week at Central Connecticut State University. "I think it's vital to stay connected to what matters," he said. Teaching "really helps me keep that focus."