Wallingford students head back to school

Wallingford students head back to school

reporter photo

WALLINGFORD — As students arrived Monday morning at Sheehan High School, fresh off the bus and carrying backpacks, instrument cases and lunch bags, they were greeted by Enzo Zocco, the new principal.

Monday was the first day of school for students in Wallingford and they arrived on foot, by bike, bus and car at Sheehan, where Zocco greeted them outside the school’s main entrance, waving and saying “welcome back.”

Zocco, the former associate principal of Newington High School, replaced Rosemary Duthie, who retired as Sheehan’s principal last month after 18 years.

Zocco said he had two days of professional development before school started to get to know the Sheehan faculty and also   met some students before Monday’s bell rang at 7:30 a.m.

“I’ve met some students over the past few days,” he said. “Kids who were here for sports, some students who were here for band and music.”

He’s most looking forward to getting to know all the students.

“I just want to get out in the halls,” he said, “be visible and make sure I’m connecting with kids, and with teachers and with all the staff in general.”

Zocco chatted with a Sheehan junior who arrived before the doors opened and had a cat’s cradle string wrapped around his hand.

“So far, so good,” Zocco said, as the first busload of kids shuffled up to the door.

Wallingford schools serve approximately 5,600 students in grades K-12. The number of pre-kindergarten students was not immediately available.

Preschool students start school on Thursday. Schools will be closed Friday for professional development and Monday for Labor Day.

Reached around lunchtime, Superintendent of Schools Salvatore Menzo said the day was going well so far.

“The success can be attributed to the hard work and commitment of all of our staff,” Menzo said via email.

Last week, many school staff, including teachers and administrators, began the ALICE Training Institute, a national program that provides options for dealing with an armed intruder.