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North Canaan Elementary School Principal Alicia Roy, right, paused recently for a photo with technology staff member Beth Johnson, who will become principal following Roy’s planned retirement. Photo submitted

NCES prepares for transition

NORTH CANAAN — North Canaan Elementary School (NCES) principal since 2018, Alicia Roy is planning the transition to new leadership following the  announcement that she will retire on June 30, 2024.

During the transition year, the North Canaan Board of Education has named Beth Johnson, NCES Technology faculty member, to the position of Assistant Principal. Upon Roy’s retirement, will take over the top job.

A key challenge during Roy’s tenure was shepherding NCES students and staff through the pandemic years and the ensuing return to in-person learning.

In a statement, Region 1 District Superintendent Lisa Carter highlighted Roy’s achievements on behalf of NCES students ensuring that the pandemic did not adversely affect their progress with learning.

North Canaan Board of Education Chair Erin Drislane also praised Roy for moving NCES to a higher level of academic achievement.

Reflecting on her 36 years of experience in education, Roy expressed gratitude for her NCES experience and returned the praise to her students, their families, faculty, board members and Region One administration. She plans to remain in North Canaan following her retirement.

Asked about her NCES achievements on Monday, Feb. 27, Roy said, “I am proud of the changes we have made and our commitment as a staff to inquiry teams, professional learning communities, Morning Meeting, Closing Circle, restorative practices, Bridges math, and now the science of reading recommendations.  Our state assessment scores show that everyone’s hard work is resulting in strong student achievement, the goal of all of our changes.”

Johnson offered comment on Friday, Feb. 24.

“I have been at NCES for 20 years. I am also the daughter of an NCES graduate with three children who have and are attending this school. Having roots in this town means I have connections with the students and their families. Dr. Roy has set us on path with a solid curriculum, Responsive Classroom routines such as Morning Meeting and Closing Circle and teachers who work closely in teams to monitor student achievement. I plan to continue the hard work Dr. Roy has begun as we work with these students who have experienced a global pandemic. I look forward to leading the exceptional NCES staff as we work together with our young, skilled learners. I am excited for this opportunity to give back to a community which has given so much to me.”

Looking to the future at NCES and beyond, Roy said, “I am confident that Mrs. Johnson will be a strong leader at North Canaan Elementary School and will continue to ensure that students are at the center of all of her decisions.  Having the opportunity to work side-by-side with her for a school year is an ideal situation that will make my retirement a bit easier, knowing that the school that I love is in capable hands.”

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