Dr. Bryan Luizzi

Recent Articles

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 →

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‘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 →

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‘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 →

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‘He Is an Exemplary Model’: NCHS Educator Jim Zambarano Named ‘Teacher of the Year’ by Tech Ed Association

While serving as New Canaan High School principal, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi recalled Monday night, the district saw a rise in interest among students for computer science and coding. NCHS offered no specific class to address those interests, Luizzi recalled, though Jim Zambarano—for many years now, the chair of the school’s Career & Technical Education program—“had talked about what might be needed to try and do that,” according to Luizzi. “I looked him in the eye and said, ‘Well we don’t have anybody to teach that,’ ” Luizzi recalled at a Board of Education meeting, held in the Wagner Room at NCHS. “And he looked at me right back and said, ‘I can,’ and jumped right in.”

Thanks largely to Zambarano, the program swiftly was put together. “We talk often about ‘Project Lead the Way,’ our goals and STEM education and engineering, and we are very proud of our Project Lead the Way program. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

A large-breed Japanese dog stopped traffic last Wednesday afternoon on Carter Street after getting off his property and making his way to East School. It happened around midday on Jan. 4, when the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department was called to Little Brook Road on a report of a roaming brown dog. The Akita made his way up Clapboard Ridge Road toward Carter, and was spotted trotting down the middle of the street, police said. He wanted nothing to do with an Animal Control officer wielding a snare, so he trotted happily back to his home. Continue Reading →

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