Letter: Not hiring Santarsiero is a great loss for Scotland Elementary

Recently, the Scotland Elementary School community learned Mr. Santarsiero, our interim principal, was not hired to remain on as full-time principal. I’m completely shocked, as Mr. Santarsiero wanted this position, applied for this position, and has proven himself in this position — working so diligently these last few months while in the capacity of interim. SES has gone through so many changes in the last several years. Our family was grateful for the grounding stability Mr. Santarsiero gave our school community, the respect, encouragement and empowerment he gave our teachers and staff, and the level of education, joy and communion he brought to our children.

Mr. Santarsiero, a Ridgefield resident, brought a lightness back to SES that was missing for so long. There was laughter in the halls, and learning in the classrooms. Mr. S. is more than qualified for the position of full-time principal, based on his past successes and achievements. Please note, Mr. S. transformed Morris Street Elementary School in Danbury to Blue Ribbon honor, and a School of Distinction.

What more do we want/need in a principal? What am I missing? Why wasn't Mr. S. graciously invited to stay on?

Not to take away from SES's next principal, who fairly interviewed and accepted the position, but what message are we giving our children on stability, growth, continuance, and dedication? Is it disruptive to change a principal so soon into a year (and right before the holidays) — in a school where there have been 5 principal changes in just a few years? Do parent letters to BOE matter? And were teachers/parents invited to all rounds of interviews before the hiring?

Sincerest thanks to Mr. S. for raising our school (and spirits) up. What a great person. And what a great loss to SES.

Patty Labozzo

Barrack Hill Road, Nov. 21