WOODBRIDGE - The new Superintendent, Dr. Guy Stella, has "hit the ground running" as he assumes his role as leader of the Woodbridge School System. As of Jan. 3, Stella began steering the course of Beecher Road School. Stella is eager to tackle the challenges of the coming century he said.

Stella was the assistant superintendent of elementary education for the Stratford School System for 8.5 years before coming to Beecher. He has also worked extensively in the New York School System, obtaining his doctorate from Fordham University. Additionally, Stella had been very involved in the organization, Teacher America, a national organization to promote teaching as a career among the most qualified graduates in America. He, also, participated in curriculum development in foreign countries, particularly Latin America. He strongly believes that modern man must "speak more than one language and understand more than one culture."

Stella envisions his role as an individual who can "channel the collective wisdom of the community." He describes his function as a catalyst that can "organize the genius of a school community and to look ahead and signal what is coming down the pike."

The ultimate goal for Beecher is to prepare the children to face the future. Stressing that education is facing new challenges, Stella wants to increase literacy skills along with information and digital strategies. Above all, he wants to create life-long, interactive learners.

"Their adult success is going to depend on this," he said.

Referring to the revolution in globalization, Stella agrees that, indeed, "The world is flat."

The shrinking of the globe requires a new set of skills.

"It's not business as usual."

Americans will be teamed up with partners from around the world and attached by their computers. Stella feels it is imperative to prepare this generation of students for that future. Stella predicts keen competition with many different countries.

"Our national survival depends on developing every single child," he said.

To compete in the future, Stella feels strongly about closing any gaps in the learning process by assessing each child for his strengths and needs. He promotes tailoring education to meet those individual needs.

"Assessment should drive instruction," he maintains.

These same problems are faced by the nation as a whole and are not unique to Beecher, Stella pointed out. The educational system of the country is grappling with the challenges posed by the changing world. Stella feels confident that Beecher can meet the challenges of the future.

Citing the professionalism of the staff and the talent and energy of the community, Stella looks forward to working in the Beecher community.

"I am impressed that the community places such a high value on education."

Praising the commitment and excellence of the entire community, both parents and educators, Stella hopes to maintain the high performance of the school.

"Beecher is a jewel of a school," he said.

As the school system prepares to present its budget to the town, Stella hopes the town will be supportive. He, as the Superintendent, is the principle advocate for resources to promote a good learning environment.

"It's a frugal budget with good financial safeguards. We want to provide quality education while respecting the taxpayer," he said.

"The budget is just a means to an end - the possibilities that could be are enormous," he said