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NBHS gets new principal

Credit: Skyler Frazer | Caption: Damon Pearce speaks after his appointment as NBHS prinicpal Wednesday night. Buy this photo
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NEW BRITAIN - New Britain High School is getting a new principal for the 2018-19 school year.

In a unanimous vote Wednesday night, the Board of Education appointed Damon Pearce. He was recommended by School Superintendent Nancy Sarra, who spoke of the new principal’s experience and passion for education.

“I’ve had several conversations now with Mr. Pearce. … He comes with passion and he comes with the belief that all students can and all staff can,” Sarra said.

Board Vice President Nick Mercier said a former colleague of his also worked with Pearce and spoke very highly of him when he learned Pearce was interviewing for the job.

“I was very glad to hear that he had such high praise for Mr. Pearce, so I’m really excited to see what you bring forward,” Mercier told Pearce.

Board President Nicole Rodriguez said about 65 people took part in the interview process.

“I am pleased to say it has been a long but fruitful process for the interviewing and I’m glad it was community-based as well as New Britain High-focused,” Rodriguez said.

The hire is actually a return to the district for Pearce. Pearce was an associate principal from 2005 to 2014 before accepting a job as principal of Suffield Middle School. Now, he’s returning to the district with more administrative experience.

“This building has enormous capacity, has enormous potential, and we’re going to do this, together,” Pearce said after the appointment.

NBHS has been without an “official” principal since the end of January. In May, The Herald reported several allegations against former NBHS principal Joseph Pinchera made by teachers in the school.

The teachers, who spoke to The Herald on condition of anonymity, discussed an atmosphere of bias and harassment in NBHS, perpetuated at least in part by Pinchera. Following an official complaint from one teacher in November, administrators opened a Title IX investigation into Pinchera’s conduct. While the investigation was underway, another teacher filed a grievance against Pinchera and the principal took a leave of absence on Jan. 31.

Pinchera officially resigned from the school district a week after The Herald’s story. Kerri-Lynn Major served as NBHS’s acting principal following Pinchera’s leave and resignation. At Wednesday’s board meeting, Mercier and other administrators and staff thanked Major for her leadership.

Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at [email protected]

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Posted in New Britain Herald , General News , New Britain on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 20:51. Updated: Wednesday, 20 June 2018 20:53.
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