Alum Cynthia Schneider ’81 was recently named assistant principal at Daniel Hand High School, in Madison, Conn. According to an article about her appointment in The Source, the announcement came as good news to students at the school.
“This is a very happy building today,” the principal is quoted as saying.
Most recently the district library media program coordinator, Schneider is quoted as saying, “This is a new challenge for me. It is an opportunity to explore new areas, move into curriculum, meet more students. The best part is that I have the opportunity to do all this at Daniel Hand. This is home. There is a family-like environment here. I can explore a new opportunity and not leave home.”
Schneider graduated from William Smith with a B.A. in English.
The article from The Source appears below.
Schneider Named Hand Assistant Principal
Marianne Sullivan • Source Staff Writer • December 11, 2008
When Daniel Hand High School Principal Barbara Britton used the public address system last week to announce the appointment of Media Specialist Cynthia Schneider as the school’s new assistant principal, the students in the media center stood up and applauded.
“It’s a reflection of how well she relates to students,” Britton said.
The Board of Education named Schneider to the position of assistant principal Dec. 2. Britton made her announcement to high school students Dec. 3.
“This is a very happy building today,” Britton said.
Indeed, as Schneider walked down the hall that day she was stopped and hugged by staff and students.
Schneider joined the Madison school system in 1998 as the Daniel Hand High School English language arts teacher and program coordinator. She became the library media specialist at Daniel Hand High School in 2003 and the district library media program coordinator in 2004.
“This is a new challenge for me. It is an opportunity to explore new areas, move into curriculum, meet more students,” Schneider said. “The best part is that I have the opportunity to do all this at Daniel Hand. This is home. There is a family-like environment here. I can explore a new opportunity and not leave home.”
Schneider came to the Madison system when her family moved to town. She previously taught English at Foran High School in Milford. Her daughter is a senior at Daniel Hand.
The new assistant principal joins Britton and Assistant Principal Daniel Zittoun as the three-person leadership team at Hand. She replaces Fran Thompson, who left Hand to become principal at Derby High School. Thompson served as assistant principal for five years.
Both Britton and Superintendent of Schools David Klein described Schneider as an educator “who cares about kids.” Klein said there were 47 applicants for the assistant principal position.
“We were looking for candidates with high school experience, exceptional track records in the classroom, experience in leadership positions, and someone with a strong work ethic, sterling character, and a team player,” he said.
The central office culled seven candidates from the 47 applicants and those candidates were interviewed by a team of diverse representatives from within and outside the school system. That first team recommended two candidates. Those two were interviewed by a second team headed by Klein. Both candidates came back for a second interview. Site visits were conducted and Schneider was recommended to the Board of Education, which interviewed her Dec. 2 and unanimously endorsed her selection.
“When we talked with students and adults in the building, we heard about her leadership style, that she was very approachable, caring, and really someone both students and adults already saw as a leader, someone who they could trust and who was committed to them and to the school,” Klein added.
Schneider said, “I always believe students are my main responsibility. This is a new position for me, but I see my responsibility to students as the same. I want then to stop in my office, to talk and ask questions. When I made the move to media specialist, I saw more students in the library than I did in the classroom. I expect to see more now with this move. I hope to see more now.”
Schneider received her undergraduate degree in English and an education certification at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She received a master’s degree in instructional technology and a certificate of advanced graduate studies in educational leadership from Southern Connecticut State University.