NORTH HAVEN — Ridge Road Elementary School has a new principal.
Chris McLaughlin, who has worked in the school system for 16 years, has taken the position previously held by Patrick Stirk before he was promoted to superintendent of schools early this year.
McLaughlin served as an English teacher at North Haven High School for six years before was promoted to assistant principal at the high school.
“I went into this career to dedicate myself to working with students,” he said. “It was through my working as a teacher at the high school I became very close with Russ Dallai, who I think was the assistant principal at that time.”
McLaughlin said Dallai convinced him to move into administration.
“So far it’s been awesome,” he said of the new job. “The staff here, the community here, has just been so welcoming and tremendous. This summer I had an opportunity to meet a lot of the students...and it just really makes me realize this is where I want to be.”
Stirk said that McLaughlin’s transition “has been seamless.”
“Chris is a talented, student-centered (administrator) who makes strong connections with teachers and families,” Stirk said. “He will continue to move the vision of the district forward through his focus on student achievement and his instructional leadership practices.”
McLaughlin said his biggest initiative as principal is teaching “kindness and compassion” to his students.
“As we know, sometimes this world can be very unforgiving and, if anything, I want the students in this building to leave here being kind, compassionate folks who will be shakers in society and will change the world for the best,” he said.