Four New Administrators Announced at Board of Ed Meeting

(NEW BRITAIN, CT) – Four new administrator positions were approved and announced at the Board of Education Meeting Monday, June 3. Mrs. Johanna Robles was named Principal of Pulaski Middle School and Dr. Shamel Lewis was named Principal of Jefferson Elementary. Mr. Mark Fernandes was named Principal on Assignment of Adult Education. Mr. Kevin Andersen was named Assistant Principal of Holmes Elementary School.

“I am so excited that these very talented and caring educators will move into these important roles,” said Superintendent 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.”

Mrs. Robles is a 10-year year employee of CSDNB, most recently serving as Interim Principal of Jefferson. She has held administrator roles since 2011, including as Assistant Principal of DiLoreto Elementary and Middle School and Assistant Principal of New Britain High School in the Freshman Academy. As a 7th and 8th grade Spanish Teacher at DiLoreto, she was named Teacher of the Year in 2010-11. Prior to CSDNB, Mrs. Robles worked in Waterbury Public Schools from 1997-2009. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Springfield College, a Masters of Science in Elementary Education, Urban Studies from Cambridge College, and a Sixth Year in Education, Administration & Supervision from Central Connecticut State University.

“I am humbled and honored to be appointed to lead Pulaski Middle School to great things,” said Mrs. Robles. “I want to develop a professional community with all our staff members, students, community members, and parents in helping guide one another in improving instruction and creating a positive school climate. I want to create a community where we are meeting the needs of our students and providing educational excellence one student at a time.”

Dr. Lewis is new to CSDNB, coming from Jumoke Academy Charter Schools in Hartford as Dean of Students for grades 5-8. He also has experience teaching kindergarten and third grade in Windsor Locks, East Hartford, and CREC Glastonbury East Hartford Magnet School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Science and Services from the University of Rhode Island, Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Saint Joseph College (West Hartford, CT), and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University.

“First, I would like to say that this is such an amazing opportunity to serve as the Principal of Jefferson Elementary School,” said Dr. Lewis. “I am very excited and I look forward to getting to know all of the students, families, and staff members of the school community. Being the Principal of Jefferson is a dream come true and I believe that building strong relationships will guide my success. 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 students are met!”

Mr. Fernandes has served in several administrator roles in CSDNB, where he began as a social studies teacher in 1993. He most recently served as Principal of Pulaski and has served as Principal of Slade Middle School, Interim Principal of DiLoreto, and as Housemaster, Associate Principal, and Interim Principal of New Britain High School.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in United States History and a Certification Secondary Education from the University of Maryland, a Masters of Science in United States History from CCSU, and a Sixth Year Educational Leadership from SCSU.

“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 Mr. Fernandes.

Mr. Andersen is a long-time teacher in CSDNB, coming to New Britain in 2004 and having taught at Jefferson, Lincoln, and Chamberlain. Most recently, he served as an Instructional Coach in Adult Education. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from UConn, a Masters of Arts in Elementary Education from University of New Haven, a Numeracy Coach certificate from the University of St. Joseph, and an Administrative Certificate from Sacred Heart University.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to become the Assistant Principal at Holmes,” said Mr. Andersen. “Over the years I have held many positions within the district including classroom teacher and currently Interim Coordinator of Adult Education. What I enjoy the most is building relationships with the students, families, staff and the community to ensure the success of our students. I look forward to continuing this work as a member of the Holmes leadership team.”

Mr. Anderson joins Mrs. Heather Nicol as new administrators for the upcoming 2019-20 school year at Holmes. Mrs. Nicol was named Principal of Holmes on April 1, effective August 1, after having served as Interim Principal since April of 2018. She has worked in CSDNB since 1996, first as an elementary school teacher and then as an administrator at Smith Elementary, Chamberlain Elementary, Vance Elementary. Prior to her current role at Holmes, she served as Assistant Principal at both Holmes and Vance. Mrs. Nicol earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership, and a Sixth Year in Educational Leadership – all from CCSU.

“I have been teaching, programming for and leading the youth of New Britain for over 30 years. I began my work in New Britain at the age of 15 in the Parks and Recreation Department where I worked for 17 years in a variety of roles including Aquatics Director, Summer Grant Coordinator, and Special Events Coordinator. 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."