Sherman, Conn. (Citizen News) – On Friday, Sherman School Principal Dr. Michael Pascento officially notified Superintendent Don Fiftal that he accepted a new position as Dean of Students at Litchfield High School. Dr. Pascento commented “I am excited for the opportunity my new role will provide me. My years in Sherman have allowed me to grow professionally and learn from some of the best educators one could ever hope for. The nature of the entire school and community has been so supportive over the years, and I believe a nearly identical environment exists where I am heading.”
Dr. Pascento added “I would really like to thank all of the faculty and staff in Sherman who have taught me so many things, and I would also like to extend my gratitude to the entire community for always being supportive of the school and the educational process. After almost 20 years in one school there have been so many great moments, and I will look back on my time as an extremely positive one.”
In response to Dr. Pascento’s resignation, Mr. Fiftal said “we are happy for him and wish him well. This is a loss for the Sherman School; however, we have found a strong interim team to fill his shoes.” In light of the new academic school year beginning today, Mr. Fiftal shared how quickly the School had to move in order to come up with an interim succession plan.
The Interim Principal is now Mr. Andrew Schoefer, who was both a halftime Administrative Dean and a halftime Math Teacher at the Sherman School. Mr. Schoefer stated “it is with great pride that I take on the responsibility of Interim Principal of the Sherman School. My brand of leadership is a little different than our previous principal, however, Mike and I do share many of the same philosophies. I am asking that all of you be patient as we continue working out the details of this transition. I’m confident that we’re going to do what we always do here in Sherman, and that’s teach our hearts out and love-up those children the moment they walk through our doors. I am truly honored to take this step and look forward to working with parents and the community to continue to make our school the greatest place it can be.”
Filling in for Mr. Schoefer in the interim will be two seasoned professionals who were appointed to interim positions. Retired Sherman School Principal and Teacher Mr. Dan Murphy has accepted a four day per week assignment. He has recently specialized in taking on interim roles at area schools in post-retirement. Former Sherman School Teacher Mr. Adam Carley, who has an administrative degree and owns and operates an afterschool program in the area, has accepted to serve in a one day per week interim position.
When asked what the next steps are and how soon the Administration will hire a new principal, Mr. Fiftal said “the BoE will need to first determine how to proceed with the administrative design for the future.” BoE Chairman Rowland Hanley stated “the Board of Education is happy to see this next step in Dr. Pascento’s career play out. We were unanimous in accepting his decision and unanimous in supporting our Superintendent’s interim plan. As sad as we are to see Michael go, we are looking at this juncture as an opportunity to further improve the quality of instruction at the School.”
Mr. Hanley then said how the Board is dedicated to making the Sherman School the best Pre-K through Grade 8 school in the country and how the interim team “will provide us with the immediate strong platform to continue supporting our goals. We are looking forward to establishing a search and evaluation committee to work with our Superintendent in approving a long-term administrative model with the absolute most talented individuals serving in all critical roles. Dr. Pascento has contributed an enormous amount of his personal time, commitment, and passion to our District, and we are very thankful. We wish him well.”
Regarding interim job function details of who will be teaching math and who will be the acting administrative dean while Mr. Schoefer is the interim principal, this is to be determined and will be a discussion point at the next monthly BoE meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, September 2nd at 7 p.m. in the Sherman School’s Library Media Center.
Written by Alicia Sakal, Citizen News Journalist, August 26th Edition. Contributed Photo.