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Head Of Joel Barlow Chosen As New Superintendent For Redding, Easton

Tom McMorran, principal of Joel Barlow in Redding, with U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, when was named Principal of the Year in 2012.
Tom McMorran, principal of Joel Barlow in Redding, with U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, when was named Principal of the Year in 2012. Photo Credit: U.S. Rep. Jim Himes

EASTON and REDDING, Conn. -- Thomas H. McMorran, assistant superintendent and head of school for Joel Barlow High School, has been chosen as the new superintendent for the Easton, Redding and Region 9 Schools.

The Boards of Education for all three districts unanimously chose McMorran, 51, at a special meeting Tuesday, March 31.

He will take over on July 1 from Bernard Josefsberg, who last fall announced his intention to retire at the end of the school year. He has been superintendent for four years.

"Everyone with a stake in the welfare of the Easton and Redding public schools can applaud the Tri-boards’ appointment of Tom McMorran as ER9's next superintendent. He brings energy, experience, intelligence and commitment to the many challenges at hand. He’s a proven leader who knows the community and its expectations. Not only will he meet those expectations, he will galvanize the collective effort required to exceed them," Josefsberg said.

The field of applicants was narrowed to three finalists, who were presented to the three-board Search Committee for final interviews and a preliminary decision before the formal appointment March 31.

"I think I can speak for all members of the Steering Committee in saying that we conducted a full, thorough, and fair selection process that took the viewpoints of all stakeholders into account. While we considered some highly qualified and excellent candidates, Tom’s experience within the three-district framework and his views on the future of education in Easton and Redding made him the best choice," said Steering Committee co-chair Sara Sobel, a member of the Redding school board.

McMorran, a Newtown resident, has served as head of school and assistant superintendent for Regional School District 9 (Joel Barlow High School) since 2007, serving a student body from Easton and Redding of more than 1,000 and a staff of 155.

"As our current enrollment declines, I see opportunities. At first, we can become more personalized and attentive to individuals. … With smaller, more agile teams, we can build sequences of learning that more closely track the needs of our students," McMorran said in letter of application for the position. "We can stop thinking of ourselves as an elementary program that hands off to a middle school program that passes along to a high school program. We can think and act as one program."

During his tenure, Joel Barlow has been ranked among the top high schools in Connecticut in academic performance and other measures. McMorran was named the 2012 Connecticut State High School Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and Connecticut Association of Schools.

Before his current position at Barlow, McMorran served as assistant principal (2005-2007) and English Department Chair (2001-2005) at Ridgefield High School. He began his career as an English teacher and has held teaching positions in Ridgefield, Newtown, New Fairfield, and, from 1989 to 1992, at Joel Barlow.

He holds an undergraduate degree in English and education from Boston College, as well as a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University, a sixth year degree in educational leadership from Southern Connecticut State University, and a doctorate in education from Seton Hall University.

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