New Milford schools hire Watertown educator Janet Parlato as new superintendent: ‘I am eager to lead’

In this September 2020 file photo, a bus makes its way on Stephanie Drive in New Milford.

In this September 2020 file photo, a bus makes its way on Stephanie Drive in New Milford.

Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

NEW MILFORD — New Milford Public Schools will be under new leadership this winter as Janet Parlato of Cheshire steps forward as the new superintendent of schools. 

Parlato was appointed superintendent by the New Milford Board of Education at a special meeting on Thursday. Starting Feb. 21, she will replace interim superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote. 

Paddyfote was appointed interim superintendent in July to replace former school chief Alisha DiCorpo. New Milford has faced significant superintendent turnover over the last several years. 

The school board was guided in its search by its Superintendent Search Committee and by Mary Broderick and Jack Reynolds of Connecticut Association of Boards of Education Search Services. Both the committee and the CABE consultants gathered perspectives from the district’s stakeholders and created a leadership profile to guide the school board in its search.

“The New Milford Board has taken the search for our new superintendent very seriously,” said New Milford Board of Education Chairman Peter Helmus. “We listened carefully to our stakeholders who participated in interviews, focus groups and an online survey. We spent some time reflecting on our own practices, determined to be prepared to make the best decision that would propel the district to a period of stability and growth.”

“We spread the net wide in our search for candidates and were pleased ultimately to attract a pool of qualified candidates,” Helmus added. “Dr. Parlato was the choice of the Board because she has significant experience in a similar district, and brings wisdom, vision, experience, caring and firmness that the Board feels we need at this point in time.” 

Parlato previously worked in the Watertown Public Schools for nearly 10 years and served as principal of Watertown High School. She has also spent many years in the Watertown Public School’s Central Office, serving as director of curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development, and as assistant superintendent and interim superintendent.  

Prior to Watertown, Parlato worked in Berlin where she taught high school English for 15 years, then served as assistant principal for five years. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Connecticut and her doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania. 

“Since the start of my career in education, I have joyfully dedicated my knowledge, efforts, abilities in the service of both children and adults,” Parlato said. “As a result of my broad experiences and my academic preparation, I am eager to lead the New Milford Public Schools on a continued path of excellence.”