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Sheehan, Lyman Hall have some holes to fill

WALLINGFORD — Wallingford sports will have some new faces in the fall as both incumbent Sheehan and Lyman Hall athletic directors have departed.

Amy Labas vacated her post as Lyman Hall athletic director after the school year and recently has been named the Coordinator of Athletics and Extra-Curricular Activities for Plainville Community Schools.

V.J. Sarullo left his duties as the Sheehan AD for his hometown of Milford where he will hold the same position at Jonathan Law High School.

“It was a very unique opportunity,” Sarullo said. “I’ve lived in Milford my entire life. When you combined that with a few other factors and it was tough to turn down. A lot of AD jobs opened up this year and that was the only job I applied for.”

Sarullo, 35, tried for the Law job just after the school year ended and officialy signed with his new school last week. He alerted everyone at Sheehan of his departure on Monday.

Sarullo, who went to Notre Dame-West Haven and later Southern Connecticut, spent five years at Sheehan. Previously, he was an AD at Notre Dame-Fairfield for three years.

“It was very tough to leave Sheehan,” Sarullo said. “If it wasn’t for the fact that I was going to my hometown, I wouldn’t have gone. I don’t have a bad word to say about anything or anyone at Sheehan. It was a great place to work at for five years and I’m certainly going to miss it.”

Sarullo lives five minutes from his new school.

“I know a good amount teachers and coaches at Law just from living in town,” Sarullo said. “I’m president of one of the Little Leagues in Milford.”

Sarullo said he was proud of his years at Sheehan.

“Athletically we were able to continue the success that was already here,” Sarullo said. “Sheehan has always been successful athletically but we just built on our programs and helped the programs that needed help along the way. I’ve worked with great coaches. I’m most proud of our increased academic requirement for participation and we have had a higher rate of academic success. The student-athletes, their families, teachers and coaches should all be proud of that.”

Sarullo will stay on at Sheehan until a replacement in named.

“It’s going to be weird whenever Sheehan and Law play each other for a few years,” Sarullo said. “They are similar schools in size and most of our sports play in Class M or L. Staying in the SCC was also a big positive for me because it’s such a great league.”

Sarullo replaced previous AD Christie Madancy in 2009.

In her new gig in Plainville, Labas will serve as the primary administrator responsible for organizing the school district’s athletic programs and after-school programs. In addition, she will develop, coordinate and manage the athletic and after-school program budgets, coordinate the use of district athletic facilities and administer all athletic policies at the high school and middle school.

“It was very difficult to leave Lyman Hall,” Labas said. “It was a hard decision. I became part of the Lyman Hall family and I always will be. I met a lot of great people and coaches during my time. But this was a position I couldn’t turn down.”

Prior to Lyman Hall, Labas held teaching positions in both the Windsor and Hartford school districts and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Connecticut.

Labas, who was at Lyman Hall for four years, was selected for her new job from a candidate pool of over 30 applicants with a number of experienced athletic directors from other school systems. A committee of administrators, teachers, coaches and parents participated in the hiring process. The board met with two finalists before voting unanimously to appoint Labas, who began her new position on July 1.

Labas, a 38-year-old New Britain native, said Lyman Hall is a school on the rise.

“I think I started a change in the feelings about Lyman Hall athletics,” Labas said. “We have great players and great coaches that will find more success than we had in the past. Lyman Hall wasn’t thought of an athletic school, but I think the tide is turning. Good things are coming to Lyman Hall and I can’t wait to see it come to fruition.”

Labas said she wants the school to appreciate its past victories.

“A pet project of mine was to change the culture of the school,” Labas said. “I never got around to it, but we have tons of trophies and plaques all sitting on shelves collecting dust. The kids and the community don’t see it and they should. There is no place to display those accomplishments of our history. It’s important to get those out. There is a history at Lyman Hall. It’s not only Sheehan. There is plenty for Lyman Hall to be proud of.”



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