Posted Date: 08/20/2021
Norwalk Public Schools is pleased to announce the following school leadership appointments.
Rowayton Elementary School
Dr. Casey Cummings has been selected as the next principal at Rowayton Elementary School.
An experienced education leader, Dr. Cummings joins NPS from Stamford Public Schools, where she has held wide variety of roles since joining the Stamford in 2005. Since 2017, she has been assistant principal at Springdale Elementary School, a K-5 school serving more than 550 students in the Stamford’s Springdale neighborhood. She was selected for that position after serving the school as an administrative intern.
Dr. Cummings other work in Stamford includes serving as district head teacher for summer school and as EL Summer Institute head teacher, focusing on best instructional practices for English learners. Her career in Stamford includes nine years as a Grade 3 and 4 teacher at Westover Magnet Elementary School, where the curriculum is enhanced with rich experiences in cultural arts.
During her tenure in Stamford, she has also served as an elementary math liaison and summer school teacher, and has planned and presented at professional development sessions on learning styles, math, SBAC, common core state standards, and the transition from Grade 5 to middle school. She is a certified trainer on the Talents Unlimited multiple intelligences approach, and holds professional certification on DIBELS essentials and data interpretation from Fairfield University, and in the Orton-Gillingham approach on teaching literacy when reading, writing and spelling does not come easily to individuals, such as those with dyslexia.
Dr. Cummings earned her doctorate in educational leadership and a sixth year professional diploma in supervision and leadership from the University of Bridgeport, where she was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She earned a Master in Arts in Teaching from Manhattanville College and a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University.
In addition to her experience in education, Dr. Cummings has a strong background in the arts. She is the founder, director and teacher at the Anam Cara Irish Dance School, and has also served as a talent and contest coach for the Miss America and Miss Connecticut pageants, and as a contestant coach for “America’s Got Talent.”
Tracey Magnet School
Brenda Brush has been selected for the role of principal at Tracey Magnet School. Lindsay Esposito has been named the school’s curriculum and instruction site director.
Ms. Brush joins our district from Greenwich Public Schools, where she has served as assistant principal at the Julian Curtiss Magnet School since 2013. With a student body and staff that represent nearly 60 countries and 30 different languages, the Julian Curtiss School celebrates diversity as a source of strength and reflection the world. Featuring a rigorous academic curriculum and strong social emotional learning framework, the school is also known for its partnership with community organizations such as Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich and Family First.
In her previous roles, Ms. Brush also served Greenwich as the district math coordinator, elementary math instructional coach and as a Grade 5 teacher at North Street School. Prior to joining Greenwich Public Schools, she was also a Grade 5 teacher and a math and computer teacher Weston Public Schools. She began her career as a third Grade teacher at the Hewlett School of East Islip.
During her tenure in Greenwich, she also served as a Data Wise teaching fellow and online course coach for the Harvard Graduate School of Education and on the district data team. Her curriculum work includes leadership roles in the Greenwich Public Schools K-12 mathematics curriculum review and Greenwich’s K-5 math benchmark assessment development.
Ms. Brush earned an intermediate administrator certificate in educational leadership from Sacred Heart University. From Hofstra University, she holds a master of arts in elementary education, with a specialization in math, science and technology, as well as a bachelor of arts with a dual major in elementary education and Spanish.
A Norwalk resident, Ms. Brush is active in philanthropic work. She is founding director and secretary of the Love of Orphans Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of orphaned, disabled and impoverished children and youth at Hogares Luz y Vida in Bogotá, Colombia.
An experienced educator in the district, Lindsay Esposito joined Norwalk Public in 2006. She has been the literacy instructional coach at Tracey since August 2020, working closely with teachers, administrators and interventionists to increase student achievement in English Language Arts. She was a classroom teacher at Naramake Elementary for 13 years, and served as team leader for the school from 2016 until 2019, when she appointed to a districtwide role as teacher-in-residence for Humanities, within the Curriculum and Instruction Department.
Ms. Esposito holds an intermediate administrator certificate and remedial reading certificate from Sacred Heart University. She earned both a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Connecticut.
Roton Middle School
Edward Singleton will serve as acting principal at Roton Middle School, while Principal Joseph Vellucci is on a leave of absence. Mr. Singleton brings many years of proven instructional leadership experience as an assistant principal and special education administrator.
Most recently, he has served as assistant principal at Norwalk High School, where his work has included supporting daily operations and curriculum development for the school, leading the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) work, and implementing restorative practices within the school community. Before joining NPS, he served as principal of the Freshman Academy at Hamden High School, where 99% of the freshmen were promoted annually to Grade 10. From 1999 to 2008, he was a special education teacher at Stamford Public Schools, serving at Stamford High School, and Dolan and Turn of River Middle Schools.
Mr. Singleton completed educational leadership programs at the University of Connecticut, where he earned certifications in school and district administration. He holds both a master of arts and a bachelor of science in special education, also from the University of Connecticut.
Brien McMahon High School
Barbara Wood will continue in her current role as interim principal at Brien McMahon High School, while a new search is conducted for a permanent principal. The school will also continue to be supported by three experienced assistant principals, including Dr. Marie Allen, Qadir Abdus-Salaam and LaShante James.
In addition, Chad Southerland will serve on the school leadership team as interim assistant principal. A respected and long-time member of the school staff, he joined Brien McMahon in 2008 as a school counselor. Currently, Mr. Southerland is the school counselor for BMHS’s Grade 10 and 11 students. During his time with Norwalk Public Schools, he has also worked as in the youth development program with the Carver Center and in Summer Academy. He began his career at Montgomery County Public School in Maryland.
Mr. Southerland earned his administrator’s certificate from Sacred Heart University. He holds a master’s degree in education from George Washington University, and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut with a double major in psychology and sociology.
Norwalk High School
We are pleased to announce that Job Fernandez and Kyle Heaslip have been selected as assistant principals of Norwalk High School.
Mr. Job Fernandez
A bilingual educational leader with experience planning and implementing data-informed lessons, promoting a school environment that supports student achievement, and fostering efficient communication between all community stakeholders, Mr. Fernandez brings more than 14 years of professional experience to his new role.
As supervisor of the successful Twilight Program launched last spring, Fernandez facilitates staff training to support high school students who have alternative schedules due to family or work commitments during the daytime.
Fernandez joined Norwalk High School in 2006 as a math teacher and also serves as National Honor Society Advisor, ensuring students are upholding the tenets of the chapter and employing intervention strategies for those that are not. In this role, he facilitates community service opportunities to foster a positive school-community relationship. Mr. Fernandez is also the head wrestling coach at Norwalk High School since 2009.
Fernandez serves as the summer program director at NPS partner the Carver Foundation, where he oversees enrollment for the program, plans and conducts meetings with parents prior to the start of the program, creates teacher, student, and activity schedules and supports effectiveness of teachers.
Mr. Fernandez holds an administrative 092 certification and is a member of the New Leadership program in ELA and math. He completed educational leadership coursework at Sacred Heart University and TESOL Cross Endorsement coursework at Fairfield University.
He holds a Master of Science in Education in Mathematics from the University of Bridgeport and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Southern Connecticut State University
Mr. Kyle Heaslip
Mr. Heaslip has been a member of the Norwalk High School for the past eight years, having served in a variety of leadership positions. A successful educator with broad public-school classroom experience encompassing assessments and instruction for high-need students, Heaslip brings to the new role a personable, relatable and strong ability to work with individuals of any socioeconomic or cultural background.
Heaslip most recently served as the multilingual learner summer academy site coordinator, where he trained staff to create a safe and positive environment for students and worked with classes and students regarding disciplinary or attendance issues to take thoughtful and immediate action. He is also the SAT and PSAT coordinator and chair of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, having consulted and organized the accreditation process for Norwalk High School.
Mr. Heaslip held the role of head coordinator of the Norwalk High School youth development program for seven years, leading afterschool programs for students to improve social and academic skills, working with enrichment program coordinators and guiding implementation of attendance protocols. He has taught social studies and worked with multilingual learners since 2013.
Heaslip holds an administrative 092 certification and a Master of Arts in Secondary Education and Educational Leadership from Sacred Heart University. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and History from the University of Connecticut.