July 8, 2022
Greetings Mansfield Families:
As you know, this past spring we created a new district level position for Director of Teaching and Learning who would provide continued leadership and vision in the ongoing implementation, development, direction, review and evaluation of the district’s curriculum and instructional practices. It is critical that we maintain our support and focus on lifting up the best practices within the district that illuminates our Board of Education’s Core Beliefs and strategic plan. In addition, the Director of Teaching and Learning will work with district leaders and teachers to support high-quality professional learning, collaboration, and planning that will further enrich our practices that support our three key drivers: Knowing students, supporting the whole child, and ensuring deep learning.
I am excited to announce that Candace Morell will serve as our new Director of Teaching and Learning. Candace is currently Principal of Mansfield Middle School and she will begin transitioning to this new role while still supporting the school through the start of the new academic year. We will ensure a continuity of supports throughout the transition until we can appropriately name a new middle school principal.
The process for hiring the new leader needs your input and support. Please consider participating in the following survey that will help us begin the search. Participation in the survey is optional and open to all community members, staff, and students as it will be used to help guide our search process.
Mansfield Public Schools: MMS Principal Search Survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LGJ3BKF
Candace has worked in Mansfield since 1999 as a Teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal. She is a passionate educator who understands our community, families, students, and staff. As an effective leader who advocates and supports the practices that lift up our instructional vision, she has built a positive school culture that continues to encourage innovation, leadership development, and student agency. Her leadership within the middle school and the district has broadened our understanding of student centered learning, curriculum/team planning, and the development of tasks and projects that give students voice and choice.
Under Candace’s leadership our middle school has emerged as a well-recognized example of excellence throughout our state and region. This past spring I attended a middle school exhibition of student work from the Witness Stone Project that celebrated authentic, deep learning. I was struck by the depth of the project, the collaboration of teachers, and the high
quality of student work. Student ownership and learning was so very evident in the presentation and artifacts. As I spoke with teachers involved in the project, they repeatedly shared with me that the success and key driver of this experience was the support they had from Candace’s leadership. I know that in order to fully actualize our vision for 21st Century Learning district-wide, we need leaders like Candace who understand how to best support our teachers and staff members.
Candace is clearly a member of the Husky Nation as a graduate of the UCONN Neag School of Education with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, Master of Science degree in Education, and a Sixth Year Diploma in Educational Leadership. She has served as a public educator for more than 25 years. Candace was recognized as the Connecticut Association of Schools 2009 Assistant Principal of the Year and was named as a National Education Leadership Policy Fellow in 2012. She has presented at state and national conferences that includes the EdLeader 21 2017 Conference.
I am pleased to share this appointment with you as I know that Candace has the experience, insight, and talent that will continue to support students, families, and staff. We are fortunate to have an experienced administrator within our district who is ready to take on this new role. Again, I urge you all to please provide your input for our new principal search by participating in the survey. Expect to see more information regarding the transition and search process in the coming weeks.
Superintendent of Schools