Berry Elementary Principal Named Bethel's Assistant Superintendent

Dr. Kristen Brooks will be joining the central administration starting Aug. 1.

Berry Elementary School principal Dr. Kristen Brooks has been appointed to Assistant Superintendent of Schools, effective Aug. 1.

Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith — who is leaving for the Wilton School District at the end of the current academic year — sent out the following letter Wednesday announcing the appointment.

It is my great pleasure to announce Dr. Kristen Brooks was unanimously appointed by the Board of Education as Bethel's next Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Brooks has been Berry School's principal since 2006 and worked very closely with teachers, staff, and administrators to improve student achievement.

Dr. Brooks is uniquely suited to assume this critical position. As an 8 year veteran of Bethel Schools, she knows the community, understands the culture, and is deeply knowledgeable about our vision, mission, and goals. Dr. Brooks knows the staff and knows many families. As Bethel Public Schools seeks to replace both a Superintendent and a Director of Special Education and Pupil Services, she will be a key player in ensuring that Bethel continues to live on the leading edge of educational excellence. Dr. Brooks earned a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Merrimack College, A Masters of Science in Early Childhood Education from Central Connecticut State, a 6th Year degree in Education Supervision and Administration from Sacred Heart University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University.

As principal at Berry school she has been responsible for building the capacity of the teaching staff through instructional coaching, targeted professional development, and the implementation of a distributed leadership model. She has deepened the understanding of Professional Learning Communities among her staff and deepened the commitment to developing more rigorous curriculum and assessment.

Dr. Brooks successfully launched SRBI (Scientifically Research Based Interventions) data teams to more closely monitor and respond to student learning needs. She created the innovative WIN (What I Need) Intervention Model designed to provide targeted instruction to our neediest learners.

As principal, Dr. Brooks has developed a culture of shared responsibility among the staff for ensuring that all students receive the instruction and attention that they need. Dr. Brooks has developed systems that promote a very positive school climate. She inaugurated the ROAR (Respectful, On Task, Always Safe, and Responsible) program to introduce school wide norms and expectations for behavior.

As a strong parent advocate, Dr. Brooks chaired the Family School Partnership committee and lead the planning for activities like Parent University. She works very closely with the Berry PTO to strengthen the home school connection. She collaborates with families and community members to access resources that provide supplemental educational experiences like Junior Achievement. She also works closely with area preschools to articulate curriculum expectations and district programming to better transition students into our school system.

As a result of all of Dr. Brooks efforts, Berry School has been widely recognized as one of the highest achieving elementary schools in the state. Berry routinely out performs elementary schools in our DRG and often achieves beyond many far more affluent elementary schools that do not face nearly the same level of challenge. Under Dr. Brooks' leadership we have seen achievement gaps for virtually all subgroups dramatically close.

This year, Berry was recognized by the State Department of Education as an Excelling School. Additionally, we expect that Berry will be recognized as a state PBIS Banner School for its outstanding implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports program.

It is because of her deep familiarity with Bethel's mission, vision, and educational strategy, her strong relationships with staff, teachers, parents and administrators, her deep understanding of curriculum, assessment, instruction, her proven ability to supervise effectively, and her obvious track record for attaining educational excellence that she is the best choice to assume the responsibilities of Assistant Superintendent.

Given all of the senior leadership changes Bethel is facing, and given the Board's desire to keep moving forward on our upward trajectory, I believe Dr. Kristen Brooks is the very best choice for Assistant Superintendent. In the words of Board Chairman, Mr. Larry Craybas, she will serve as “the keeper of the flame” and ensure continuity and stability in this period of change.
Dr. Brooks has won my respect and admiration, the respect and admiration of Dr. Jordan, and the respect and admiration of the rest of the staff and administration.  I am very confident that Dr. Brooks will not only continue to improve achievement in Bethel, but will help take Bethel to new heights.  Dr. Brooks will begin her new role on Aug. 1, 2014.
Ann Crane May 07, 2014 at 09:08 PM
I thought the board had a hiring process they are suppose to follow.
Craigar May 08, 2014 at 03:30 PM
@Ann Crane - and what is it in the article that leads you to believe they did not follow the hiring process? Do you know what the hiring process is?
Ann Crane May 13, 2014 at 05:07 PM
The position was posted the same day these ladies were appointed. A superintendent should be in place before support staff.


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