SOUTHINGTON — A Meriden assistant principal and Southington resident will begin the new school year leading Oshana Elementary School.
The Board of Education appointed Josephine Rogala as principal of Oshana School, formerly Plantsville School, last week.
“I’m so honored to be here and I’m so grateful to be coming back to the town I love to continue to serve the students of Southington public schools,” she said after her unanimous appointment Thursday night.
Rogala grew up in Southington and started her education career in town as a student teacher at Plantsville. She then became a teacher at Kelley School and a teacher leader at the middle schools before leaving for an administrative position in Meriden.
She said her teacher leader position had prepared her for helping lead a school.
“I knew the timing was right and I felt prepared,” Rogala said.
She was an assistant principal at Nathan Hale and most recently at Thomas Hooker schools in Meriden.
Back to Southington
Brian Goralski, school board chairman, is also a Meriden public schools employee and had high praise for Rogala. More than 50 people applied for the position and the field was narrowed to four applicants who were interviewed by the education board.
“We had four very qualified candidates. She was the unanimous decision of the board,” Goralski said. “We’re really happy to have her come back to Southington.
Then teacher Josie Rogala hits the ball back to the student side during the volleyball game at Kelley School in Southington to support Unified Sports, March 21, 2014. Rogala has been named the new Oshana School principal. | Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal
Other board members were also pleased to appoint Rogala, including board vice chairwoman Terri Carmody who had the new principal as a student in high school.
The principal’s salary will be $137,054.
Former principal Stephen Bergin left Oshana to take an administration job in Ansonia. He was hired in 2014.
The school was renamed this summer after the late Zaya Oshana Sr., a former Board of Education member.
While she still has to remember to call it by the new name, Rogala said the change does honor a champion of public education in Southington. She said the new name would be a “positive transition.”
Teachers and families from the school were in the audience Thursday for Rogala’s appointment.
“I’m over the moon to join your school family,” she told them.