Dr. Bryan Luizzi

Recent Articles

New Canaan High School Class of 2017 Graduates

In 1989, Jennifer Lee spoke at her high school graduation. It is a speech that she now admits revealed very little about what it meant to be her because that was something, at the time, she was still figuring out. On Tuesday evening, 28 years later, Lee took to the podium once again to address the 334-member New Canaan High School class of 2017 as its keynote speaker—getting a second chance to deliver something more personal. Yet after learning that she would address the students, Lee felt denial, anxiety and fear being chief among them. To aid her in finding a theme for her speech, the mathematics teacher and 22-year veteran of the New Canaan Public Schools conducted a survey with her students, asking them who their favorite elementary school teachers were. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

‘The Security Measures in Place Work’: Superintendent Addresses Unusual Incident at New Canaan High School

Addressing concerns following an incident this week where a 22-year-old man on New Canaan High School’s campus attempted to enter the school’s cafeteria through an exterior door, the district’s superintendent offered reassurance to parents and the wider community about the facility’s security. New Canaan Police on Monday arrested a New Jersey man who inexplicably approached the building at an exterior door to the cafeteria around noon and then, when confronted, falsely claimed that he was a 17-year-old transfer to NCHS. Asked about the incident, Dr. Bryan Luizzi said that New Canaan Public Schools “makes the safety of its students a priority at all times.”

“All doors at New Canaan High School are locked,” Luizzi told NewCanaanite.com. “The main entrance doors are monitored by the district’s campus monitors, as are all front doors in all the district’s schools. Visitors need to show identification, sign in and sign out, and are given a name badge to wear during their visit. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Did You Hear … ?

Police are urging residents to beware fraudsters posing as IRS agents by phoning local numbers and leaving computer-generated or live voice messages. On Thursday, residents reported receiving unsolicited phone calls from people claiming to represent the IRS. When asked whether the call was a “scam,” the caller disconnected, according to New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski. The actual IRS generally contacts citizens through snail mail, authorities say—never give personal information to unknown parties via telephone or computer. ***

New Canaan Library’s renowned “Conversations with Business Leaders” lecture series this year will feature Jamie Forese, president of Citigroup. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

‘This Is a Wonderful Community’: New Canaan Public Schools’ Facilities Director Bob Willoughby To Retire

Saying his wide knowledge, calm manner, diligence, conscientiousness and collegiality has served the kids, faculty and staff of New Canaan Public Schools well through some of the district’s largest capital projects in memory, officials on Monday night honored Director of Facilities Bob Willoughby, who will retire after this academic year. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi recalled that on being hired as New Canaan High School principal six years ago, he made an official visit to the town with his wife and daughters and “we jumped into the elevator to go meet the superintendent, Dr. David Abbey, and there was Bob in the elevator.”

“I always knew there wasn’t a problem you couldn’t solve or figure out, and I always looked to you for your experience and wisdom to do what’s right. It’s going to be hard to fill your shoes but you also taught all of us quite a bit, so we are better off than we would have been without you.”

The board presented Willoughby with a gift and he earned a long ovation from its members as well as about 20 people in attendance at the meeting. They included New Canaan’s highest elected official. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi, who has said he was so impressed with Willoughby’s role in the school district that he created a counterpart position for the town, called the facilities director “a real pleasure to work with.”

“We hit it off immediately and it’s one thing for me to hit it off immediately with him but honestly everyone I know in town has hit it off immediately with this gentleman, and I will miss you incredibly,” Mallozzi said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

‘We Will Have To Make Some Hard Decisions’: District Officials Address $1 Million Reduction to Budget Request

The Board of Education in proposing its original 2.76 percent operating budget increase already had factored in year-over-year reductions in spending on employee benefits, contracted services and supplies, officials said last week. Now that the district is faced with, at most, a 1.6 percent operating increase for next year—following a $1 million reduction to its $88.6 million proposal by the Board of Finance—the schools will “have to look at everything,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Town Council at their March 15 regular meeting. Since the superintendent’s own original proposed budget increase, the school board went “through the process initially of reducing and making some tough choices about initiatives and programs coming in, so we have to get back to the table and really take a hard look at everything that we have and make some decisions.”

“We will continue to keep an eye on insurance as best we can, but ultimately I will be sitting with the administrative team, we will look at everything with the Board of Education and share with them some options and decisions. It is premature to say specifically ‘this program’ and that program’ but it is going to be our responsibility is to look at it.”

The comments come as the district looks at a $1.38 million increase to its budget—and it may be less, as the Town Council has the ability to reduce it further (though not to add to it)—while it’s contractually required to pay $1.76 million more to employees (mostly teachers). Councilman John Engel asked Luizzi at the meeting: “Where is this cut going to come from?”

“Do you think that it’s fair to say electives are going to be the first things to look at? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,