SOUTHINGTON – Frank Pepe, former principal at DePaolo Middle School, feels “invigorated” to be taking the reins at Southington High School following the retirement of Brian Stranieri.
Pepe said his time working with the students and families at DePaolo was “incredible,” but he is eager to take on the challenge with a new group of students and families at the high school.
“It’s great to come into this with the knowledge of what it takes to transition from 8th to 9th grade,” said Pepe. “Now I will get to build upon that as we work toward our vision of what a graduate needs to be equipped with when they leave.”
Pepe served for 12 years as principal of DePaolo, but he got his start in the Hamden school district. There, he was an elementary school teacher, then a middle school math teacher, then a middle school science teacher before becoming assistant principal and finally principal. He decided to come to Southington after helping the Hamden school district get their new middle school building.
Pepe said that he worked together with Brian Stranieri for many years and had a lot of conversations as they prepared to transition leadership of the school.
“We spoke just yesterday about the organization of the school and the NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation process which we are in the middle of,” he said.
Pepe said his goal is that “every single child be given the opportunity to excel to reach their greatest potential.”
Pepe also said he needs to focus on and isolate a “vision of a graduate.” He said that it will be based on the “four Cs” idea he used to emphasize at DePaolo Middle School – communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
“These are skills that transcend subject areas and will help to prepare kids for all kinds of jobs – including jobs which don’t even exist today,” he said.
Pepe said his philosophies as an administrator are that “all kids can learn” and “safety is of the utmost importance.”
“Families send us their most prized possessions, their children, every single day,” he said. “We need to make sure that every single kid have a unique experience here at Southington High School and has the opportunity to excel.”
Pepe said that the only way he will reach his goals is through a collaborative effort with students, staff and families.
“Families are also an integral component in the academic process and ensuring a positive experience for kids,” he said.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.