July 22, 2008

School Board Fills Special Needs Post

By Luther Turmelle, New Haven Register, Conn.

Jul. 22--WALLINGFORD -- The Board of Education has promoted a veteran educator to oversee the district's program for students with special needs.

The board voted unanimously Monday night to hire Janice Lautier as the district's director of personnel for compensatory education services. She replaces Joseph Bivona, who retired at the end of June after 25 years in the position.

"I'm really excited about this opportunity," said Lautier, who has been the district's coordinator of pupil personnel services for the past three years. "I'm really looking forward to it."

Lautier, of Southington, will make $118,507 in her new job, Superintendent of Schools Dale Wilson said. She was selected from a field of nine candidates, Wilson said.

"She was easily the most qualified," Wilson said. "She'll do an excellent job."

Before becoming coordinator of pupil personnel services for the district, Lautier worked from 1995 to 2001 as a special education teacher at Lyman Hall High School, Wilson said.

Before coming to work in the district, Lautier said she worked in special education positions in the Bristol and Burlington school districts.

In other employment news in the district, Wilson said he will meet with the board this fall to discuss whether he will sign a new contract. But he declined to say whether he had already made up his mind about what to do.

Wilson's contract expires at the end of the 2008-2009 school year, and the board's leadership has expressed interest about the possibility of signing another contract.

A 35-year veteran of serving the district, Wilson was named superintendent in February 2007. He began the 2006-2007 school year as Wallingford's acting superintendent, then was the interim head of the district after the board put one superintendent on an administrative leave of absence and had another reconsider taking the job after he'd been hired.

Wilson, who has lived in Wallingford for more than three decades, started his education career in the district as a biology teacher at Lyman Hall High School in 1973.

He then moved into the school's administrative offices in 1979, first as an assistant principal, then as principal of Lyman Hall four years later.


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