District: Search for New Principal at Saxe Middle School Underway

District officials said this week that they’ve launched a search for a new Saxe Middle School principal and expect to gather applications through the end of this month. The successor to Greg Macedo, who is retiring, will have “big shoes to fill,” Board of Education Secretary Jennifer Richardson said at the group’s regular meeting on Monday night. “It’s really cool because he [Macedo] feels so strongly that the school is in such a great place and he wanted to wait for the auditorium to be ready,” Richardson said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “He’s just [done] such an amazing job and it’s such a loss to for all of us.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi noted that two dozen applicants had already put in for the job and that Saxe as oen of the largest middle schools in the state with its two-division system “is a very appealing spot for folks.”

“And having sat in on the focus group with [Saxe] PTC presidents, it is clear that we need to hire at least five people to do Greg’s job.”

According to the human resources director for New Canaan Public Schools, Gary Kass, the PTC co-prsidents are one of “various constituent groups” from whom the district is seeking information about qualities that a future Saxe principal should possess. Others are parents and the public, who are invited to attend a meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Feb.

Saxe Middle School Principal Greg Macedo To Retire

Greg Macedo, longtime principal of Saxe Middle School, will retire after this academic year, he said in a blogpost. An educator for nearly four decades who has worked in the New Canaan Public Schools district for 25 years, Macedo said he reached the decision with his wife to relocate to the Delaware shoreline. “I will leave knowing that the support and guidance from the parent community, of which I will always be grateful, will continue to ensure that our middle school will thrive, even beyond its present state,” Macedo said in the post, whose contents also were emailed to parents. “I can honestly say that I have been able to live the life of a ‘life-long learner’ because I’ve been blessed to have had professional colleagues that are ‘life-long teachers.’ ”

Macedo in recent years earned praise from Board of Education members for making dozens of accommodations prior to a recent renovation and expansion in order to keep Saxe, built for 1,200 students, operating while it consistently saw 1,300-plus students enrolled. Even so, Macedo noted as the town weighed whether to fund the estimated $18.6 million project that those accommodations were made “on the backs of our neediest programs,” as several Special Ed classes had been pushed into converted closets and alcoves due to space deficiencies.

District: New Canaan Boy, 10, Passed Away Unexpectedly Sunday [UPDATED]

[Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with information from the superintendent of schools.]

District officials on Sunday afternoon notified parents that a New Canaan boy in the fourth grade at West School had passed away unexpectedly in the morning. Nico Mallozzi was rushed to the hospital after he fell ill while traveling home from a hockey tournament that he had left early because he wasn’t feeling well, according to an email from Saxe Middle School Principal Greg Macedo. “Tragically, they were unable to save him,” Macedo said in the email. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said the cause of death has not been determined. The subject line of his message was “We are mourning the loss of a West School student …” and the email started “…

Board of Ed Member Calls for More Input from Parents Regarding Computer Use at Middle School

Parents should have a say in some curriculum decisions regarding the use of computers in the classroom, rather than mere access to the trusted New Canaan Public Schools educators now making them, according to one member of the Board of Education. Some parents closely monitor their children’s “screen time” at home and the study of how computer use affects young people is a rapidly developing area, Maria Naughton said during the school board’s regular meeting last week. “We don’t have a district curriculum committee in the district, which I think we should,” Naughton said during the group’s meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “And I would like to know: How will this impact the curriculum for fifth and sixth grade?” said Naughton, who has called for greater parent collaboration in the past. “I have had parents contact me.

‘It’s Nice To See Kids Maintaining Their Childhood’: Saxe Middle School Principal Defends $200,000 Request for New Playground Equipment

When playground equipment was purchased a dozen years ago for Saxe Middle School with about $125,000 in privately raised funds, many in town debated whether the gear would be used by the students there at all, Principal Greg Macedo said Wednesday night. Yet today, it sees regular use not only among fifth- and sixth-graders, according to Macedo, but also from seventh- and eighth-graders. That’s partly for reasons of status—the older kids like to run out and get on the playground equipment first—and partly because students rotate from there during outdoor recess to a playing field and on to a game of tag, Macedo told members of the Town Council at their regular meeting. “Remember now we are talking about middle-schoolers, so ‘free play’ in their mind is socialization—before maybe physical education, or even recreation,” Macedo said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “So oftentimes you will see students climb the equipment and then want to stay there to socialize.”

The comments came during an opening round of budget discussions between the Board of Education and Town Council, the elected body that has final say over next fiscal year’s municipal spending plan.