DePaolo's Frank Pepe named next Southington High School principal

Published on Thursday, 27 June 2019 20:20


SOUTHINGTON - Frank Pepe, former principal at DePaolo Middle School, says he feels “invigorated” to be taking top job at Southington High School after the retirement of Brian Stranieri.

Pepe said his time working with DePaolo students and their families was “incredible” but he is eager to take on a new challenge at the high school.

“It’s great to come into this with the knowledge of what it takes to transition from eighth to ninth grade,” said Pepe. “Now I will get to build upon that as we work toward our vision of what a graduate needs to be equipped with when they leave.”

Pepe, who served 12 years as principal at DePaolo, got his start in Hamden. There, he was an elementary school teacher, then a middle school math teacher, then a middle school science teacher before becoming assistant principal and finally principal.

He said he decided to come to Southington after helping the Hamden district to get its new middle school building.

Pepe said he worked together with Stranieri for many years and have had a lot of conversations leading up to to the leadership transition at SHS.

“We spoke just yesterday about the organization of the school and the NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation process, which we are in the middle of,” he said.

Pepe said his goal is that “every single child be given the opportunity to excel to reach their greatest potential.” He said that there need to be programs in place to create opportunities for children.

Pepe also says he needs to focus on and isolate a “vision of a graduate.” He said that it will be based on the “four Cs” idea he emphasized at DePaolo Middle School: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.

“These are skills that transcend subject areas and will help to prepare kids for all kinds of jobs - including jobs which don’t even exist today,” he said.

Pepe said his philosophies as an administrator are that “all kids can learn” and “safety is of the utmost importance.”

“Families send us their most prized possessions, their children, every single day,” he said. “We need to make sure that every single kid have a unique experience here at Southington High School and has the opportunity to excel.”

Pepe said that the only way he will reach his goals is through a collaborative effort with students, staff and families.

“Families are also an integral component in the academic process and ensuring a positive experience for kids,” he said.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Thursday, 27 June 2019 20:20. Updated: Thursday, 27 June 2019 20:23.