School Board Announcement - March 16th, 2021

School Board Announcement - March 16th, 2021
Posted on 03/16/2021
School Board AnnouncementThe Chester School Board has named Dr. Sharon Locke, Ed.D., as the next superintendent of schools for the Chester School District starting July 1 st , 2021. Dr. Locke succeeds Dr. Darrell Lockwood, Ed.D., who is retiring at the end of the school year. Dr. Locke recently transitioned from six successful years as the Superintendent of the Naugatuck Public Schools in Naugatuck, Connecticut. Most recently she was an Assistant Director of the Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) in North Haven, Connecticut. Since 2020 she has also served as an Adjunct Professor at both New England College in Henniker, NH and at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Locke’s selection is the result of a comprehensive search conducted by a fifteen member committee appointed by the Chester School Board and led by former Board member Mrs. Maria Veale. The search produced seventeen (17) qualified applicants from diverse geographic and professional backgrounds.

Chester is very fortunate to have attracted such a diverse and talented group. We are extraordinarily pleased with the outcome of this search process. In the end, Dr. Locke clearly proved to be the best fit to carry forward the vision of the Chester School District and to provide the leadership for our educational community to explore the limitless opportunities available to us all.

Under her leadership in Naugatuck, the district achieved a Smarter Balanced Assessments improvement rate for Naugatuck students that ranked the district in the top 5% in the state of Connecticut. Her focus resulted in a school system that strove to become an inclusive, equity-minded learning community with high expectations for both students and staff.

Dr. Locke completed her doctoral program in Education at New England College and completed her Superintendent Certification Program at Central Connecticut State University. Prior to obtaining her superintendent licensure, she earned a Sixth Year Degree in Administration from Southern Connecticut State University, a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling from Central Connecticut State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire.

“The Chester School Board is excited that Dr. Sharon Locke will be the new leader for the Chester School District. In our conversations with Dr. Locke we came away firmly believing that she will be a collaborative leader that will engage our staff and build a community that will unlock the potential of each of our students.” Chairman Royal Richardson said of the new Superintendent. “The Chester School District has always felt energized to accomplish more and, for this to happen, we need experienced leadership willing to put the energy and enthusiasm into their work to show the students how important their education is. I’m excited to begin this next era with Sharon as she puts her imprint on the District with a focus on teamwork, and a commitment to our students and their families.”

Vice Chairman Jonathan Eckerman commented that the Chester School District is in great hands. “Dr. Locke’s focus on student growth is supported by her interest in a collaborative model of leadership that emphasizes accountability at all levels. I am confident that Chester will appreciate her desire to create strong relationships within our community. Our teachers and staff will find her to be extremely relatable and supportive while challenging each person to grow alongside our children. The students and families will find renewed confidence in the amazing abilities our students possess. I look forward to welcoming Dr. Locke and being a part of the focused and deliberate work to provide the very best learning environment for our students and staff.”

Dr. Locke provided the following statement: “I am excited and honored to have been selected to serve as Chester’s new superintendent of schools. I am looking forward to getting to know our students, their families, and our staff and to work together to ensure each and every child is thriving at Chester Academy and throughout their high school experience. I am also eager to partner with the School Board to continue providing the resources and supports necessary to operate our district in service of a healthy, happy, and collaborative community.”