PLAINVILLE - The townâ€™s new assistant superintendent of schools, Paul Levenduski, said he aims to help schools evaluate and implement practices that achieve the best possible results for each student.
Levenduski was officially appointed Aug. 28, succeeding Steve LePage, who had become superintendent after Maureen Brummett became superintendent in Newington. Since then, Levenduski has made a point of visiting local schools and attending open house events to introduce himself to students and parents.
â€śIâ€™m extremely happy to be here,â€ť he said. â€śPlainville has been a very positive and very welcoming community and the staff have been incredible. Parents should know that I have three school-age children of my own, one in high school, one in middle school and one in fourth grade in East Hampton. So Iâ€™m approaching this as a parent and not just an administrator.â€ť
Before coming to Plainville, he worked in the Meriden school district for 22 years in a variety of roles, since 2015 as supervisor of instruction and learning. He had also been assistant principal and interim principal at Orville H. Platt High School and principal at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School.
Levenduski said he was pleased to learn that LePage was also once the principal of Plainville High School.
â€śI worked in a lot of positions in Meriden and most recently I was working in the central office,â€ť said Levenduski. â€śThat allowed me to take the lead on a lot of district initiatives and come up with strategies to implement programs. I was working on expanding the professional learning community and the focus on social emotional learning in Meriden and I believe that I can take those skills and transfer what I learned here.â€ť
Social emotional learning is a new strategy developed at Yale that focuses on teaching students to recognize and regulate their emotions and understand how they affect themselves and others.
â€śItâ€™s not like we didnâ€™t do that sort of thing before, but this just puts more of a focus on being mindful about it,â€ť said Levenduski. â€śThinking about how to teach these skills is just as important as thinking about how to teach academics.â€ť
Levenduski said he was impressed by how much the Plainville Community Schools lives up to its name by connecting with the community.
â€śI came here from Meriden, where there are a lot of services and supports,â€ť he said. â€śIn smaller communities, thatâ€™s something you donâ€™t always see. But I noticed right away that Plainville was different.â€ť
To illustrate his point, Levenduski mentioned how the Board of Education and town government share the same building and resources.
As he continues to work in the district, Levenduski said, he wants to focus on â€śenhancing the sense of a professional learning community.â€ť What this means, he said, is having â€śdeep discussionsâ€ť about how students are instructed based on data.
He said he wants to have regular discussions on what methods are working and what can be improved. He also wants to have weekly and monthly analysis done.
â€śMy goal is to support our schools,â€ť he said. â€śI want to connect with staff, students and parents to help us be successful. I want to make as many personal connections as possible. Every decision that I make will be with the intention of doing whatâ€™s best for the school system.â€ť
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.