For the past 36 years, Rick Terino has served the community as a well-known English teacher at and has earned a reputation as a leader in the Southington school system. The Southington resident will soon get the chance to try his leadership skills out on the next level.
The Board of Education voted 7-1 Thursday evening to hire Terino, 58, as the next assistant principal at . He will replace David Germano and take the reigns as the next head of the school’s Freshman Academy.
“This is an exciting opportunity for me and when I first found out, I didn’t sleep. I was so pumped up and I feel like I still haven’t landed,” Terino said. “My family is from Southington and I always wanted to work here, so when the opportunity came up so many years ago, I knew it was what I wanted.”
“To be able to extend my career and have this advancement opportunity, I’m just thankful to be here and I look forward to working on becoming a member of the team.”
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Terino brings not only an energy to the school that will be helpful in dealing with the large number of students, but is also experienced in working with kids transitioning to the high school said Board of Education Chairman Brian Goralski. Goralski said he has worked with middle school students in preparing them for high school and should be able to adjust to his new role without issue.
Goralski noted that over the past decade, Southington school boards have worked diligently to improve literacy and develop the freshman academy. The skills and experience Terino brings will further those goals, he said.
Zaya Oshana, the one opposed vote, said he would not speak bad of Terino but made his decision based on his best choice from the 150 applicants who had applied for the job. That pool was eventually narrowed to three.
“I always vote for the person I believe is best qualified for the job,” Oshana said.
Terino joined the Southington school district in 1976, just a year removed from finishing his undergraduate degree in English at Central Connecticut State University. He received a Master’s degree from the university in 1982 in special education and has also received a degree in educational leadership and administration from Sacred Heart University in 2009.
He lives in Southington with his wife, Deb, and said Thursday that he is looking forward to the challenges ahead.
Southington High School Principal Martin Semmel said he is excited about the selection and looks forward to bringing Terino in to learn the program and how things work between now and the end of the year.
Semmel said he believes Terino is the right pick to join the team and using a team leadership approach, he will provide valuable insight that will further the goal of one team leading one big school.
“One thing exciting about Rick taking over is that he has the tools to jump right in with the Freshman Academy,” Semmel said. He has worked so long with sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders and brings a wealth of experience on how to transition.”
The Board of Education meeting held at the on Thursday also provided members of the Southington Cyberknights, FIRST Robotics Team 16, with the opportunity to show off their skills.
The team finished seventh out of 100 teams in their division at the in St. Louis at the end of the month and is lobbying the Board of Education to provide funding to assist in defraying costs. The team currently does not receive any funding in the annual budget.
For more on the robotics presentation, check out the video clip above.
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