SOUTHINGTON - Frank Pepe, former principal at DePaolo Middle School, says he feels â€śinvigoratedâ€ť 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 â€śincredibleâ€ť but he is eager to take on a new challenge at the high school.
â€śItâ€™s great to come into this with the knowledge of what it takes to transition from eighth to ninth grade,â€ť said Pepe. â€śNow 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.â€ť
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.
â€śWe 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,â€ť he said.
Pepe said his goal is that â€śevery single child be given the opportunity to excel to reach their greatest potential.â€ť 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 â€śvision of a graduate.â€ť He said that it will be based on the â€śfour Csâ€ť idea he emphasized at DePaolo Middle School: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
â€śThese are skills that transcend subject areas and will help to prepare kids for all kinds of jobs - including jobs which donâ€™t even exist today,â€ť he said.
Pepe said his philosophies as an administrator are that â€śall kids can learnâ€ť and â€śsafety is of the utmost importance.â€ť
â€śFamilies send us their most prized possessions, their children, every single day,â€ť he said. â€śWe need to make sure that every single kid have a unique experience here at Southington High School and has the opportunity to excel.â€ť
Pepe said that the only way he will reach his goals is through a collaborative effort with students, staff and families.
â€śFamilies are also an integral component in the academic process and ensuring a positive experience for kids,â€ť he said.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.