Board of Education appoints new Stafford Elementary School principal

Published on Thursday, 9 July 2020 16:51


BRISTOL - The Board of Education has appointed Latanya Farrell as the new principal of Stafford Elementary School, effective July 9.

Farrell has been an educator in the Bristol public school system for 25 years, having begun her career as a kindergarten teacher at Stafford. Most recently she held the position of assistant principal at Bristol Eastern High School. She is replacing Kristin Irvine at Stafford.

“I’ve learned a lot in my 25 years serving Bristol families as an educator at each level - elementary, middle, and high school. The idea of coming back to Stafford where I began teaching 25 years ago makes my heart smile,” Farrell said.

She said she would miss working BEHS Principal Michael Higgins and Assistant Principal Melanie Vetrano, but is looking forward to future collaborations with them and BEHS students doing service projects with the “Little Eagles” of Stafford.

Previously, Farrell taught World History, AP Psychology, and the AVID Elective at Bristol Central High School, and Social Studies, Computing Technology, and Language Arts at Chippens Hill Middle School.

Farrell holds an undergraduate degree in education from Western Connecticut State University, two master’s degrees in educational technology and elementary education from the University of Hartford and received her 092 certification from Sacred Heart University.

She said she is excited to begin the next chapter of her career working with the dedicated teachers, support staff, and parents of the Stafford Elementary School community.

The school board has also appointed Matthew Madruga dean of students at West Bristol K-8 School and Georgina Rivera dean of students at Greene-Hills K-8 School, effective July 9.

Rivera has worked in the Bristol schools, for 21 years, most recently as the elementary STEM supervisor in the Office of Teaching and Learning. She has also served as a math teacher and math department coordinator at Chippens Hill Middle School as well as a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) school-wide coach and K-5 district math coach.

She was named Bristol’s Teacher of the Year in 2010 and Family Resource Center Volunteer of the Year in 2019.

In accepting her new position, she thanked the school leadership and God “for giving me this opportunity to serve at Greene-Hills School, a place where I was able to coach and be with teachers and now lead.”

“I’m a girl with big dreams and big hopes,” she said, quoting civil rights activist Dolores Huerta saying “si se puede!” (yes we can!).

Rivera holds a bachelor of science in elementary education with a minor in Spanish, a master’s of science in math education, and a sixth year degree in math educational leadership and an administrator’s certification, all from Central Connecticut State University.

Madruga joins the Bristol public schools following a nine-year tenure as a school counselor at Walsh Intermediate School in Branford while simultaneously he worked as a counselor for Wallingford Adult Education.

A recent graduate from Sacred Heart University’s Sixth-Year Degree Program in Educational Leadership, Madruga also has a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut, and a master’s degree in school counseling from Assumption College.

Madruga said he is “very excited to be part of the Bristol public schools family. It was clear to me from the beginning that Bristol public schools truly embraces its core values of excellence, innovation, trust, inclusiveness, and accountability, I look forward to partnering with our families and staff to ensure that every student in Bristol has access to a high quality education they need and deserve.”

“I can’t wait to get to work at West Bristol,” he said, adding “I’ve got my purple and silver tie here, I’m ready to go.”

Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Thursday, 9 July 2020 16:51. Updated: Thursday, 9 July 2020 16:54.