New assistant principals named at elementary schools

Superintendent of Schools William McKersie has announced the appointment of two new assistant principals in the district. Klara Monaco will be the new assistant principal of New Lebanon Elementary School and Carmen Vargas-Guevara will be the new assistant principal of the Hamilton Avenue Elementary School.

Ms. Monaco is currently the interim assistant principal of the North Mianus Elementary School, a position she has held since May.

Ms. Monaco began her teaching career as a special education teacher in an independent school specializing in working with children with special needs. She then transitioned to public education and joined the Greenwich Public Schools in 2009 as an educational evaluator. In that capacity, she worked in most of the schools in the district and is familiar with its faculty and programs.

Dr. McKersie noted in a press release, “Ms. Monaco is a bright, well-organized, knowledgeable educator who has been particularly successful in working with special needs students.

“Her expertise, drive, and vision benefit all students and she will be an excellent partner for Barbara Riccio, the principal of New Lebanon. This position is an ideal opportunity for Ms. Monaco to combine her experience as an interim assistant principal with her years as an evaluator, teacher leader and her knowledge and experience of educational leadership.”

Sharon Turshen, the assistant director of Pupil Personnel Services for the district, who has worked closely with Ms. Monaco, said, “She is poised, confident, demonstrates good judgment, takes initiative and is an excellent communicator.”

As an interim assistant principal and educational evaluator, Ms. Monaco has had responsibility for the supervision of K-5 programs including special education, classroom instruction, student supervision, hiring of staff, data interpretation, RTI training and working with paraprofessionals.

Ms. Monaco received her bachelor’s degree from Siena College, a master’s degree in special education from the College of New Rochelle and a sixth year degree in educational leadership from Southern Connecticut State University.

“I am thoroughly excited by the opportunity to become a leader and collaborator, not only to the students at New Lebanon, but also to the teachers, staff, and parents at the school,” Ms. Monaco said.

Soon to be a leader at Hamilton Avenue, Ms. Guevara is currently the assistant principal of the W. Edward Balmer Elementary School in Northbridge, Mass. Ms. Guevara is an experienced elementary educator who has taught in the Boston, Lynn and Lawrence public schools and has been an administrator in East Haven and Hartford.

Dr. McKersie said, “Ms. Guevara is an enthusiastic, creative and passionate educational leader and mentor who believes that all children can learn and thrive in a learning environment that is stimulating, comforting, and appropriate to their unique talents and abilities.

The involvement of parents is a key factor in the education of children and Ms. Guevara strives to involve as many parents in the life of the school as possible.”

As an assistant principal, Ms. Guevara has had responsibility for the supervision of K-5 programs including special education, guided reading, differentiated instruction, mathematics, interdisciplinary models of instruction, PBIS (positive behavioral instructional support), ESL coordination, bilingual program supervision, parent-community relationships and a focus on continuous improvement.

Ms. Guevara received her bachelor’s degree from Salem State University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Cambridge College and performed additional graduate study at both Salem State University and the University of Connecticut.

“My goal is to help lead a school to be an exemplar of a professional and collegial environment that prepares every student to meet the high demands of our society,” Ms. Guevara said.

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