Dr. Scott V. Nicol, Superintendent
Change is cyclical and the passing of the baton inevitable even for the most successful of endeavors. Such was the case back in 2005 when the Moser family sold Valley Farms, a multigenerational highly successful dairy farm. The buildings were taken down and the Big Y Supermarket Plaza was constructed.
Also in 2005 the Ellington Public Schools' leadership team began an approximate three year transformation. From Superintendent Richard Packman to principals, Eileen Kouba (EHS) and Frank Milbury (Windermere), long standing exemplary educational leaders moved on from Ellington. Ushered into vacant administrative positions were Superintendent Steve Cullinan, Assistant Superintendent Erin McGurk, High School Principal Neil Rinaldi, Middle School Principal David Pearson, and Center School Principal Trudie Roberts just to name a few. All in all, the Ellington Public Schools' eleven member leadership team saw a total of nine new administrators arrive.
Ellington is again in the midst of change. In the past three years, seven new administrators, including myself in 2015, have arrived. This past school year, outstanding educational leaders such as Assistant Superintendent Erin McGurk (12 years) and EHS Principal Neil Rinaldi (13 years) have exited with five new educational leaders hired for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
Therefore, it is with great optimism that the baton is passed from one great leader to the next.
Brian Hendrickson, J.D.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
Mr. Brian Hendrickson will be assuming the duties previously held by Dr. Erin McGurk. He previously served as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for the Suffield Public Schools. He has served as an elementary and middle school principal for the Naugatuck Public Schools and as a social studies teacher for the Trumbull Public Schools.
Mr. Hendrickson received his Superintendent's and administrative certifications from the University of Connecticut. He received a Bachelor of Science from Fordham University and a Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School.
John Guidry, J.D.
Ellington High School Principal
Mr. John Guidry replaces Mr. Neil Rinaldi. He was an assistant principal at Hall High School and principal of the alternative high school for the West Hartford Public Schools. He also worked at Conard High School for West Hartford as a science teacher.
In addition, Mr. Guidry comes to Ellington with an impressive and broad set of executive leadership experiences outside of education. As a graduate of Duke University School of Law and Texas A&M College of Engineering, he has served as a systems engineer, legal counsel for Proctor & Gamble, and Senior Vice-President, Global Legal Counsel for Reckitt Benckiser, PLC in England. Mr. Guidry was also President of Good Counsel Consulting, LLC out of Avon, CT.
Susan Nash-Ditzel, Ed.D
Crystal Lake Elementary Principal
Dr. Nash-Ditzel follows Mr. Michael Larkin who served as the Crystal Lake Principal for ten years. She has served approximately 20 years in education as an elementary classroom teacher, reading specialist, college professor, and most recently as a principal for six years at Ledyard Center Elementary School (K-6) in Ledyard, CT.
Dr. Nash-Ditzel holds bachelor and master degrees from Kean University in New Jersey, a second Masters from the University of Connecticut, and a Doctorate from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey–New Brunswick. All of her degrees have a concentration in educational leadership, elementary education and early literacy.
Ellington High School Assistant Principal
Ms. Rebecca Aldred replaces Mark Wursthorn. Ms. Aldred began her career in education twelve years ago at Woodstock Academy teaching mathematics. She took a position as the chair of the mathematics department at Boca Ciega High School in Florida and was eventually promoted to an administrative position as a central office math specialist for the Pinellas County Schools. Ms. Aldred has spent the past two years at Ellington High School as both a mathematics teacher and most recently as the high school mathematics specialist.
Ms. Aldred earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Connecticut State University. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida.
Ellington High & Middle School Assistant Principal
Mr. Michael Nash assumes a newly created position by the Ellington Board of Education. He is a career long Ellington educator, a 2001 Ellington High School graduate, and a lifelong member of the Ellington Community. Mr. Nash has been an 8th grade social studies teacher, instructional technology specialist and most recently lead teacher for the Ellington Public Schools.
Mr. Nash holds a degree in History from the University of Rhode Island. He holds a Master of Arts and a 6th Year in educational leadership from the University of Connecticut.