For Immediate Release
Mansfield Board of Education Announces Peter Dart as Next Superintendent
Mansfield, CT February 23, 2022 – The Mansfield Public Schools Board of Education has announced that it has voted to select Peter Dart as the next Mansfield Public Schools Superintendent. Mr. Dart, who has served as Principal of Dorothy C. Goodwin Elementary School in Mansfield since 2018, will succeed Kelly Lyman effective July 1, 2022 upon her retirement.
“Peter has been a strong contributor to the administrative team here in Mansfield, offering deep experience in and contributing to growing our educators, one of our Core Beliefs,” says Kathleen Ward, Chair of the Board of Education who led the committee. “Under his leadership, Goodwin earned School of Distinction status in 2020 for high growth and overall performance in ELA/Reading, and in 2021 U.S. News & World Report ranked Goodwin School twelfth out of 621 Connecticut elementary schools. Our school community clearly responds to his leadership.”
Peter Dart previously served as Assistant Superintendent for Talent Management at Hartford Public Schools where he worked with district and school leaders to support 52 schools in developing talent, leadership, professional learning, and equity. He was promoted to this role after serving for four years as the Principal of the Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker serving 600 PreKindergarten to Grade 8 students from 45 towns. Under his leadership, the environmental magnet school was awarded LEED Platinum Certification and the U.S. Department of Ed Green Ribbon, and earned recognition as a Magnet School of American School of Excellence. He was also Principal at the Eleanor B. Kennelly School in Hartford, a PreKindergarten through Grade 8 turnaround school where he initiated systemic reforms including early intervention for literacy and numeracy and implemented a School Governance Council to engage parents and families in change.
Additionally, Peter has had direct experiences with school building projects including the Barrows STEM Academy in Windham, Two Rivers Magnet Middle School, and the Environmental Sciences Magnet School in Hartford.
“Peter’s professional experience proves he is willing to tackle tough challenges, and the search committee was especially impressed with his experience leading an environmental magnet school and his focus on environmental science,” says Chairman Ward. “We know this knowledge will serve our school community well in optimizing the net-zero energy learning opportunity for students at the new school. This will not be new ground for him,” she adds. “We’re also pleased that there will be a generous transition period between Peter and Superintendent Kelly Lyman which will benefit the district’s future.”
Mansfield Public Schools is a PreKindergarten to Grade 8 district facing an important transition year. The three elementary schools will be consolidated into one PreK to Grade 4 school in the fall upon completion of the new Mansfield Elementary School, the first net-zero public school in Connecticut. Grades 5 to 8 students attend Mansfield Middle School, named by U.S. News & World Report as 18th among 304 middle schools in Connecticut. Mansfield is well known for excellence in student-centered, project-based learning.
Mr. Dart completed the Executive Leadership Program at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, and had previously earned his 6th Year Diploma in Educational Leadership through the University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP). His focus on environmental education includes a Master’s of Science in Environmental Education from Southern Connecticut State University, plus participation in special programs including the Aquanaut Marine Fellowship 2005 through the University of Connecticut/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Marine Science Institute through Eastern Connecticut State University/Project Oceanology at Avery Point in Groton. He also coupled an earth science concentration with his Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education at Lyndon State College, and earned his Master of Arts in Teaching at Connecticut College.
“I’m honored to step into this role to best serve our students, families, and staff. Mansfield is an amazing community and I am proud to be a part of this story as we continue to develop and highlight experiences that lifts equity and best practices,” says Mr. Dart. “This is a district strong in tradition with deep commitments for education and innovation.
“The leadership team Kelly Lyman established here in Mansfield is cohesive and laser-focused on student-centered learning. My aim is to continue the great results that we’re achieving here, and to ensure a smooth transition to our new school for teachers, staff and students, I’m super excited to help open our new elementary school and move our district’s Core Beliefs forward,” he says.
Mr. Dart has also led other educators, serving as a Professor of Practice working with interns enrolled in the University of Connecticut’s UCAPP Plus program, and at the University of Hartford as an Adjunct Professor leading a graduate level course in science education and technology for middle school science classrooms. He was team leader and science curriculum chair at Two Rivers Magnet Middle
School in East Hartford, and at William J. Johnston Middle School in Colchester, CT, where he also taught fourth grade. He is a frequent guest lecturer and has presented at conferences including National Science Teaching Association, Connecticut Association of Schools, and Magnet Schools of America.
The Board of Education’s nationwide search was facilitated by Cooperative Education Services (CES) of Trumbull, CT, who also assisted in the search resulting in Superintendent Lyman’s hiring in 2015. Mansfield’s comprehensive search process included input from the community, staff members, government leaders, students and families through an online survey and virtual focus groups, plus outreach to 9,000 educational leaders throughout the country and postings on education-related websites.
Superintendent Kelly Lyman is retiring from public school service effective June 30, 2022 after leading the Mansfield Public Schools district since 2015, and 38 years in public education.