Angela Brunson got over three months’ notice that she’ll be promoted to assistant principal in August—a move the superintendent said signals a new effort to end last-minute shuffles in schools.
Brunson (pictured) showed up to Career High School Monday to the regular meeting of the school board, which approved her promotion to assistant principal of Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School.
Brunson started out as a math teacher in New Haven schools 13 years ago. She is currently a teacher working as an “administrative intern” at Betsy Ross, which serves 500 students in grades 5 to 8 on Kimberly Avenue. Brunson is taking part in the “emerging leaders” program, one of several new initiatives that aim to prepare teachers for leadership roles.
Brunson will start work on Aug. 1, replacing Sarah Rosner, who’s retiring. She will earn a salary of $109,687.
“Everybody loves her. She’s great. She’s doing a wonderful job,” Superintendent Garth Harries said of Brunson.
So why delay appointing her, he argued.
Harries said he put Brunson’s promotion up for board approval Monday to signal a new effort to hire and promote school leaders earlier in the year. In the past, some principals have been thrown into new jobs as soon as eight days before school started.
Harries has said the district aims to stick with its new, more aggressive timeline for putting new leaders in place. The plan calls for filling all new principal jobs by May 27 and assistant principal jobs by June 23. It also calls for involving parents in the process—click here to read more.
Harries said the school district interviewed principal candidates last week; some of those candidates will be visiting schools in the near future.
Board member Mike Nast said he has long been concerned about New Haven’s delayed timeline for hiring. He applauded the district for making a prompt decision in Brunson’s case.
Mayor Toni Harp also celebrated the move.
“One down,” she said.
There are quite a few more to go: There are at least three vacancies due to departing assistant principals—two at Hillhouse High School and one at Strong School. More spots may open up as the city fills four upcoming vacancies in principal jobs at Davis Street, Mauro/Sheriden, and Edgewood Schools as well as the Adult Education Center.
In addition, Domus Academy, which is run by a Stamford-based not-for-profit charter operator called Domus, is looking for a new principal, who will be the third principal in five years. Harries said New Haven’s school district has offered to help Domus find a replacement, though Domus is ultimately in charge of the search.