EDITORIAL: A new principal for Southington High

Hiring for a top job in a community almost always consists of an element of faith that the choice is a good one. While research, vetting, interviews and the rest of the process can provide a good base for finding just the right candidate, sometimes it’s broader, more instinctual aspects that seal the deal. Finding a person you believe can handle the job set before them and who will be committed the community. A person you will like working with and who likes working with you, too.

The Southington Board of Education has found that person in Michael Crocco who will take on the job of Southington High School principal starting Aug. 9 with an annual salary of $172,416.

He was chosen unanimously with many of the board members responding “absolutely yes” during the roll call vote at the July 22 virtual meeting.

“I'm humbled by the opportunity,” Crocco said, “When I met with the board the other day, it just felt like a natural fit and I'm really humbled by the faith that you have in me."

Crocco’s past employment includes serving as principal of Metropolitan Business Academy, a high school level magnet school in New Haven. He’s also held positions as talent director for New Haven Public Schools, principal of Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School in New Haven and assistant principal at Hill Central School in New Haven.

He studied special education at Southern Connecticut State University, earning his master’s degree in 2004. He received his Connecticut Administrative Certification and Connecticut Superintendent Certification from the University of Connecticut Executive Leadership Program in 2017.

“Mr. Crocco brings a wealth of teaching and leadership experience across all levels of education, ranging from elementary to central office,” stated an announcement about his hiring.

But that is only part of the story. While his experience and credentials are impressive, other elements influenced the board’s decision as well.

During interviews, he highlighted the importance of family in his role as an educator, both his own family and the families of students. His family made a cameo appearance during the meeting when he was hired.

Chairperson Terri Carmody said Crocco will bring enthusiasm to the new job.

During the night of the final vote on hiring, board member Colleen Clark gave her impression as to why the board had made the right choice. "One thing you said the other night Mr. Crocco was that you feel renewed and recharged when you go into a classroom and you're with students.”

With his combination of skills, experience and clearly a good connection with the board, we have faith that Michael Crocco is an excellent choice for Southington High and the town.

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