Dr. Gary Richards, Superintendent of Schools, has been named Superintendent of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.
According to a press release sent by Dr. Joseph J. Cirasuolo, executive director of CAPSS, Richards began his tenure as superintendent in 2004. Before landing his current job, Richards served a superintendent in New Canaan, Oak Park, Calif. and San Marino, Calif.
"Dr. Richards has also played a leading role in a number of professional development programs," Cirasuolo wrote in the release. "He has been a mentor in the UCONN Neag School of Education Executive Leadership Program and served as an adjunct professor in the USC School of Education at Sacred Heart University. In addition, he has worked on planning professional development activities and program reviews for the Tri State Consortium, is active in professional development activities that are offered by ERB Trustees and was a participant in the Harvard Business School Governing for Non-Profit Excellence Program."
Cirasuolo said Richards is a "community leader."
"He is an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Wilton and a long-time supporter of A Better Chance of Wilton," he said. "He has served as a deacon in the Wilton Presbyterian Church and is the co-chairperson of the Wilton Public Schools United Way Campaign."
According to Cirasuolo, CAPSS chose Richards "in recognition of the fact that his leadership in Wilton has resulted in many additions of value to that school system," the most prominent of which follow:
- The development and implementation of a strategic plan that is deeply rooted in a vision for what the Wilton Public Schools will be and that is, in turn, deeply rooted in a theory of action that makes the vision and strategic plan concrete.
- The development and implementation of a highly effective inclusion program for special needs students.
- District advancements in the use of technology as an integral tool for teaching and learning and administration.
- The development and implementation of a highly effective program for obtaining financial support for the school system from both the local town government and from private community sources.
Richards will now enter the running to become the National Superintendent of the Year. That award will be announced in February 2013.
"CAPSS is proud that Dr. Richards is the Connecticut Superintendent of the Year for 2013," Cirasuolo said. "He serves as a model for the general public and for his colleagues in the superintendency for what superintendents need to do and for the kind of leadership that superintendents need to provide."