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New Canaan High Parents Want Best in New Principal

The new principal at New Canaan High School does not need to be a diplomat, parent Robin Hoffman says. But the person who takes the reins at the school will have to please plenty of different community interests, including parents, teachers and the Board of Education.

"They will have to deal diplomatically with all different groups," she said. "You have to keep everyone happy."

Hoffman joined more than 20 parents Tuesday to talk with members of the committee searching for Principal Tony Pavia's successor. Pavia will retire at the end of this school year.

Many of the parents spoke highly of Pavia, praising his ability to reach out to all students and his focus on growth beyond classroom performance. Hoffmann, whose twin 18-year-olds Brant and Marina are seniors, said any new school leader should help children grow and be independent. "Kids at age 18 are going to college and their parents don't go with them," she said.

Kim Persky, a parent of two current high school students, wants a new principal to have experience elsewhere. "I hope we get someone who has cut their teeth on someone else's nickel," she said.

Jennifer Edwards, whose son Zach, 16, attends the high school, would like a principal who enjoys the job. "The principal needs to love his job so he can love the kids," she said.

Eliza Holcomb, a consultant with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, said she is confident the search committee will find a good successor because the New Canaan High job is thought of highly. "Applicants are saying this is the job," she said.

School officials want Pavia's successor on board by July 1, the start of the 2011-12 school year.

What qualities do you think will be important for the new New Canaan High School principal? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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