Dr. Lynn Toper Appointed Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Services

Dr. Lynn Toper Appointed Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Services
Posted on 05/17/2016
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Lynn C. Toper, Ed.D., has been appointed to the position of Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Services for Norwalk Public Schools.  Her appointment was confirmed on May 17 by the Norwalk Board of Education.  Dr. Toper's official start date is July 11, 2016.

Since 2011, Dr. Toper has been principal of CREC Discovery Academy, a PreK-5 STEM magnet elementary school in the greater Hartford area.  Under Dr. Toper’s leadership, Discovery Academy has been awarded Magnet Schools of America’s highest honor for three consecutive years, the Magnet School of Excellence Merit Award. Dr. Toper serves as the school’s instructional leader in all areas, including special education and 504 compliance, class management, evaluation, cultural competence, technology integration, and data collection. Her work includes recruiting and hiring teachers and staff, collaborating on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), overseeing an 8 million dollar school operating budget, and promoting a “parents as partners” school climate. As the school’s founding principal, Dr. Toper’s work has overseen four construction projects to accommodate yearly expansion, along with the planning and oversight of the permanent building in Wethersfield.  

Prior to joining Discovery Academy, Dr. Toper was executive principal of Jumoke Academy Charter Schools in Hartford from 2008 to 2011. She was hired to lead the way in removing the school from the state’s “In Need of Improvement” status, an accomplishment completed in two years. Her work included establishing a tiered system approach to interventions (SRBI), facilitating data team meetings to review student progress, and facilitating the revision of K-5 language arts curriculum, which resulted in 91% of Kindergarten students, 95% of first graders and 95% of second graders reading at grade level.

From 2006-2008, Dr. Toper was a Special Education Consultant for the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE).  At CSDE, she served as a mediator for conflict resolution, as lead consultant for students with disabilities on the Least Restrictive Environment Initiative, and with other consultants to revise the CSDE’s Guidelines for Identification of Students with a Learning Disability. She was appointed as the CSDE’s Designee on the Consumer Advisory Council for the University of Connecticut’s A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). 

Her prior experience includes roles as director of special education and assistant principal of Andover (CT) Elementary School, and as a special education teacher in West Hartford and Suffield schools. 

Dr. Toper earned her doctorate in education leadership and her sixth year certificate from the University of Hartford. She holds a master of arts degree in Special Education from St. Joseph College in West Hartford, and a bachelor of science from the University of Connecticut in Storrs. She is certified as a State of Connecticut Intermediate Administrator (092) and as a PreK-12 Special Education teacher.