She may be young, but Susie Da Silva, the new principal at Kings Highway Elementary, brings years of school experience to Westport.
Da Silva, who has a doctorate in education, was the principal of an elementary school in Waterbury for five years before coming to the district. She also holds two years as an assistant principal under her belt and was an elementary school teacher before that.
"I was a teacher for a number of years," said Da Silva, 35. "I was a foreign language teacher: I taught Portuguese and Spanish to primary school children, and I've taught ESL," or English as a second language.
Fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish, Da Silva was also a bilingual teacher.
At Central Connecticut State University, Da Silva earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education and Spanish as well as a master's degree in reading, as a bilingual educator. Six years ago, Da Silva, a Wolcott resident, reached the height of her educational career when she obtained her doctorate degree.
A true lover of learning and education, Da Silva is certified to be a superintendent, a credential she pursued at the same time as her doctorate. She also teaches graduate level education courses at the University of Bridgeport and St. Joseph College but is taking the semester off.
Though she is a successful and versatile educator, Da Silva didn't dream of being a teacher or principal as a kid. It was her love of children that led her down this path.
"It brightens my day when I walk up the stairs and see the children," Da Silva said. "There is not a more rewarding job. The impact you have on kids, families and the community as a whole; it's a big deal. This job gets better every day."
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