New Britain Board of Ed announces new hires

Published on Friday, 7 June 2019 18:40
Written by Michelle France


NEW BRITAIN – The Board of Education has announced four new administrator positions in the school district for the 2019-20 school year.

“I am so excited that these very talented and caring educators will move into these important roles,” said Superintendent of Schools Nancy Sarra. “I know they are going to make a huge impact in each of these educational communities throughout our school district. Their passion and dedication for positively impacting each student will come through every day and I know they are going to foster the kind of environment where every student will have the opportunity to thrive.”

Johanna Robles was named the new principal of Pulaski Middle School.

“I want to create a community where we are meeting the needs of our students and providing educational excellence one student at a time,” said Robles.

Robles has been with the New Britain school district since 2009, serving as interim principal of Jeffferson, assistant principal of DiLoreto Elementary and Middle School and associate principal of New Britain High School in the Freshman Academy. She was named Teacher of the Year in 2010-11 at DiLoreto while working as a Spanish teacher.

Shamel Lewis was named principal of Jefferson Elementary school.

“Being the principal of Jefferson is a dream come true and I believe that building strong relationships will guide my success,” said Lewis. “As principal, I will make sure all of our students, families and staff feel welcome and respected. I will work harder than you can imagine to make sure the needs of all of our student are met.”

Lewis will be transferring from Jumoke Academy Charter Schools in Hartford where he was Dean of Students. He has also held positions at various elementary schools in Winsor Locks, East Hartford, and Glastonbury. He earned a Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Saint Joseph College and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University.

Mark Fernandes was named principal on assignment of adult education.

“I am looking forward to my 20th year as an administrator in New Britain and returning back to where I started in adult education,” said Fernandes.

Fernandes has held various administrator positions in the school district since 1993, most recently serving as principal of Pulaski and prior to that he served as principal of Slade Middle School. He earned a Master’s of Science in United States history from Central Connecticut State University and a Sixth Year Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University.

Kevin Andersen was named assistant principal of Holmes Elementary School.

“What I enjoy the most is building relationships with students, families, staff and the community to ensure the success of our students,” said Anderson. “I look forward to continuing this work as a member of the Holmes leadership team.”

Anderson has worked in the New Britain school district since 2004, having taught at Jefferson, Lincoln and Chamberlin Elementary schools. He most recently served as an instructional coach in adult education. He earned his Masters of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of New Haven, a numeracy coach certificate from the University of St. Joseph and an administrative certificate from Sacred Heart University.

Anderson will join Heather Nicol, who was named principal of Holmes in April.

“I am honored to be the new principal of Holmes Elementary as I feel it is a great opportunity to continue my service to the youth of New Britain,” said Nicol.

Nicol has worked in the district since 1996, holding various roles as teachers and administrator at Smith, Chamberlain and Vance elementary schools. Nicol was previously an assistant principal at Holmes and Vance elementary schools. She earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and a Sixth Year in Educational Leadership, both from CCSU.

Michelle France can be reached at 860-801-5087 or at

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Friday, 7 June 2019 18:40. Updated: Friday, 7 June 2019 18:43.