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Around Fairfield Schools: Webinar For Parents To Talk Of Race; Meet New Principal, HR Director

Shamain Johnson is the new Chief Human Resources Officer for Greenwich Public Schools, effective July 1. Photo Credit: Greenwich Public Schools
Jennifer Masone has been selected as interim principal of Nathan Hale Middle School in Norwalk, effective July 1. Photo Credit: Norwalk Public Schools

You can't shield your children from the recent acts of racism and violence that followed the death of George Floyd, but what do you say to them?

A pop-up webinar to address these is being hosted by Stamford Public School to assist parents in having these conversations. The webinar on Friday, June 5 at 5 p.m. will give "strategies for speaking with children about race and traumatic events," said Associate Superintendent for School Development  Olympia A. Della Flora.

"Watching news stories related to George Floyd has left us all speechless. It is unbelievable that in 2020 we must still find a way to have discussions with our children to try to explain why we continue to have acts of violence against people of color across our country," Superintendent of Stamford Public Schools Tamu Lucero said in a statement. These conversations would normally happen in the hallways at school then carry over into the classroom for discussion among teachers and support staff with the students, but this "teachable moment" in distance learning is not possible, Lucero noted.

"We, as educators," continued Lucero, "must find a way to support families as co-teachers who are on the frontline of fielding questions from students of all ages as these events play out in the daily news stream in their 'home classroom.'" 

Additional support for parents from the district from social workers, school psychologists and school counselors is available, Lucero said. Click here for the webinar Zoom link.

Greenwich HR Chief

Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones has appointed Shamain Johnson as chief Human Resources officer for the District, effective July 1. She will lead the human resources function for the districts which includes staff management, employee and labor relations and recruitment and retention of employees, among other responsibilities. Johnson recently served as the interim human resources director in the district.

"During her time serving in this position as an Interim, she has provided great leadership within our Human Resources department and has worked in partnership with our staff and respective unions to serve the needs of our entire District. She continues to be an asset for our leadership team,” said Jones in this week's announcement.

"I’m excited to take on this role permanently. The employees of our District are our greatest assets and I look forward to continuing my work in service to them," Johnson said. She has been with the district since 2014, serving in the central office as interim Human Resources director and as assistant director of Certified Staff. She has also worked within the schools as an assistant principal. 

Her responsibilities as an HR leader include designing and implementing a new HR onboarding system, organizing and facilitating the annual New Teacher Orientation, partnering with school administrators on staff recruiting, and training and support for the Teacher Evaluation System. 

Nathan Hale Principal

Jennifer Masone is the new interim principal of Norwalk's Nathan Hale Middle School effective July 1. For the past five years, Masone was principal at Wolfpit Elementary School (also in Norwalk) where she helped transition the school from a traditional program to one with an arts-oriented focus, said the district's announcement.

Her career has focused on important issues affecting children and government policy, according to the district's announcement. As a part of the Education Policy Fellowship Program, Masone developed diverse and collaborative community relationships with strategic leaders for effective public policy. Her work on a brief called “Saving Children’s Lives Through Water Safety Awareness Instruction: Is it Worth Our Time?” resulted in a legislative roundtable discussion, press conference,  task force, and Governor’s proclamation of May 2017 as Water Safety Month in Connecticut. 

Following this, Dr. Masone was appointed by the Connecticut Commission of Women, Children, and Seniors to Co-Chair the State Legislative Task Force on Water Safety Awareness.

Masone holds a doctor of education in educational leadership from the University of Bridgeport, master of arts in elementary education and bachelor of arts in psychology from Fairfield University. 

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