Scotland hires William Santarsiero as interim principal

William Santarsiero will serves as interim principal of Scotland Elementary School this fall.

Ridgefield Public Schools hired Santarsiero at a special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Santarsiero has served as principal of Morris Street Elementary School in Danbury for 21 years.

“He is kind, passionate, compassionate, and always places students at the center of his decision-making. He is beloved in his school and very highly regarded by his peers, staff, students, and parents,” said Dr. William Glass, a former assistant superintendent of Danbury public schools, in his recommendation to the district

Santarsiero replaces former Scotland principal Joanna Genovese who resigned from the post on July 25 amid controversy surrounding her behavior on Facebook.

Parents at the school also raised concern about issues of student safety at Scotland, and said they were concerned that Genovese intentionally misled or lied to parents about a plan to shuffle teachers by grade level.

Background

In addition to his role as principal Morris Street Elementary School, Santarsiero served in a leadership role in the Danbury Public School system’s special education department for eight years. He was a special education teacher in Stamford for six years before moving to Danbury. 

Ridgefield school administrators said that Dr. Salvatore Pascarella, superintendent of Danbury schools, described Santarsiero as “a hard worker and excellent educator.”

Ridgefield hopes to replace Santarsiero with a permanent principal at Scotland elementary sometime after October, according to Interim Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote. 

The position is one of four senior leadership positions Ridgefield Public Schools are hoping to fill, including a permanent superintendent, an assistant superintendent, and a head of special education services.

“Santarsiero earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Connecticut State University in Special Education and a Master of Science degree in Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities. In addition, he earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Administration and Supervision from Fairfield University,” the superintendent’s office said Wednesday, Aug. 8.

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