Former New Milford Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote returns as interim superintendent

Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote meets with Schaghticoke Middle School students in 2012.File photo

Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote meets with Schaghticoke Middle School students in 2012.File photo

File photo

NEW MILFORD — Just one week after outgoing Superintendent Alisha DiCorpo requested a leave of absence from New Milford Public Schools, the Board of Education has voted to appoint former veteran New Milford Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote as interim superintendent.

DiCorpo announced her intention to leave New Milford Public Schools on July 7 after serving about 18 months as the district’s superintendent. She submitted a request for a statutorily required leave of absence on July 20, which was approved the same day. DiCorpo’s leave of absence began July 21 and was originally slated to continue until Sept 2.

The Board of Education organized a special meeting on Thursday. Board of Education Chair Wendy Faulenbach said the board took several actions then “to ensure the continuity of district leadership heading into the 2022-23 school year.”

Board members voted to effectively extend DiCorpo’s leave through her last day with the district on Oct. 4. DiCorpo is expected to take a position at EdAdvance.

Faulenbach said the board is contractually obligated to continue DiCorpo’s pay until Oct. 4, regardless of her leave status.

The Board of Education voted to appoint Paddyfote as the district’s interim superintendent with an anticipated start date of Aug. 15.

“The board felt it would be appropriate, given these challenges, to have Dr. Paddyfote promptly assume the role of interim and continue that role uninterrupted until approximately the end of January or a permanent superintendent is hired,” Faulenbach said.

Paddyfote first joined the district in 1980 as director of pupil personnel and special services. She held that position until 2001, then served the district as assistant superintendent for a year and as interim superintendent for three years. In 2005, she was named superintendent.

Paddyfote retired from New Milford Public Schools in 2016. In the ensuing years, she was employed in several interim positions in other school districts, including the Avon, Ridgefield and Madison public schools; worked as the interim superintendent for Regional School District 17, Haddam-Killingworth; and was interim director of special education and pupil personnel services for Watertown Public Schools.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Paddyfote back into our district and we are confident that we will all work together as a team to move the district forward,” Faulenbach said.

“New Milford Public Schools has always held a special place in my heart as it is the district where I began my administrative career,” Paddyfote said Friday.

“It is an honor to return and serve as interim superintendent. I am excited to work with all stakeholders to get schools ready for a successful opening on Sept. 6 and to prepare the district during the transition to a new superintendent,” she said.