Canaan Public Schools Board of Education has unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Bryan Luizzi as interim superintendent of the New Canaan Public Schools, effective July 1.
Luizzi replaces Dr. Mary Kolek, who is retiring on June 30. she has been with the district since 2004.
Luizzi, of Brookfield, has 18 years of experience in education, serving the last three years as the principal of New Canaan High School.
Board of Education Chairman Hazel Hobbs said, “We sought to build upon what Dr. Kolek and the school district have created. We are excited to have an interim superintendent who can lead our high-performing school district in the continuous pursuit of excellence. Dr. Luizzi is an experienced leader with the skills and passion required to lead the district.”
“I am honored to be chosen by the board for this exciting opportunity,” Luizzi said in a statement released by the district. “I feel it is essential for an interim superintendent to engage in a collaborative fashion with the school board, community, administrators, and staff to ensure a productive and successful school year. I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to the great work that the New Canaan Public Schools will continue to accomplish going forward.”
Currently, Luizzi serves as the New Canaan High School principal. He began his teaching career at Newtown High School as an English teacher. He then served as the Manager of Technology Operations for the Newtown school district. He then progressed through a number of administrative positions in the Brookfield school system, culminating in his appointment as the principal of Brookfield High School, a position he held for five years.
Throughout his professional career, Luizzi continued higher education — in 2006 he completed his Doctor of Education degree at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has served as an adjunct professor at Central Connecticut State University and at the University of Connecticut.
Kolek will be retiring effective June 30, 2014. Dr. Kolek stated, “Dr. Luizzi has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the core beliefs and vision that define and guide the New Canaan Public Schools. His strong working knowledge of the culture and strengths of the district and community will allow him, working in concert with the Board and leadership team, to enhance, expand and create initiatives designed to support and grow student well being and success. That Dr. Luizzi is willing to assume this responsibility on behalf of the community says much about his professionalism, work ethic, and dedication to New Canaan. I am confident his leadership will invigorate and inspire students, staff, and families as together all pursue next generation educational goals.”
Hobbs said, “Dr. Kolek has played a key role in many New Canaan success stories, including continuous gains in student achievement, all day kindergarten, expansion of the visual and performing arts, Chinese language study, Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES), and an expanded use of technology. Dr. Kolek has played a pivotal role in growing a mindset of collaboration and continuous improvement.”
The Board of Education will determine the process, which will include community input, to fill the permanent superintendent position in the fall. Gary Kass, Director of Human Resources, will begin the process to appoint an interim high school principal.