As summer winds to a close, the Plainville Community Schools staff has been hard at work in preparation for the 2019-202 school year, which officially begins on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
Leading the district are the new superintendent and assistant superintendent — Steven LePage and David Levenduski, respectively.
LePage was first hired in 2010 as the Plainville High School principal. In 2016 he was promoted to the position of assistant superintendent, and officially began his role as superintendent on July 1, 2019.
Levenduski joins Plainville by way of Meriden, where he had previously served as the supervisor of instruction and learning, an elementary school principal, a high school assistant principal, and an interim high school principal.
LePage explained that approximately 50 people had applied for the position of assistant superintendent. Eventually, 10 people were offered an interview, and from that pool a top five was chosen. In the end, the process left two top choices, and Plainville picked Levenduski.
“I’m excited, he’s a very energetic, positive, smart guy,” said LePage.
The new superintendent has been preparing for convocation as well, which will be on Wednesday, Aug. 28, where the theme will be a celebration of community heroes. In following the hero theme, LePage will be expanding the list of V.I.P. guests to include not only town officials, but community heroes such as first responders, students, veterans, and more.
LePage will also be expanding the celebration to acknowledge and honor all district personnel who have served Plainville Community Schools for 15 years or more.
“And, you’re going to get a little bit of my life story because I’m the new superintendent. I think people think they know me but they don’t know how the community heroes in my life have impacted me and helped me to move from the situation I was in,” said LePage, “[I had a] pretty difficult and challenging youth with a lot of things going on — poverty, and a kind of poor vision of myself — and then just through certain people in my life — teachers, a coach, a guidance counselor — the impact they had in making me to be what I am today.”
While there may be a new duo leading the district, LePage plans to lead the district forward at an even pace.
“We’re going to continue our work with professional learning communities with the goal of improving teaching and learning across the district with a real heavy emphasis on that,” said LePage. “I believe that we have the potential to do much better than we are, we’ve made some gains in several areas, but I want to keep seeing that trend go up so students are prepared for life, for school, the next grade of school or for life after school if they’re graduating.”
This work will include sending four teams to Yale and the Center of Emotional Intelligence, where staff will learn not only how to identify and channel their emotions, but how to aid students in doing the same. And, in the continued process of creating equitable access for all students, additional English Learners staff have been hired.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.