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English teacher named Ledyard High principal

By Julianne Hanckel

Publication: theday.com

Published April 30. 2012 2:00PM   Updated May 01. 2012 2:04PM
Amanda Fagan to replace retiring Louis Gabordi on July 1

Ledyard — Emerging from a pool of seven candidates, a former Ledyard High School student and current English teacher there has been selected as the school’s new principal.

After two rounds of interviews with school officials, school board members, teachers, a parent and a student representative, Amanda Fagan has accepted the job. On July 1, she will replace retiring high school Principal Louis Gabordi, Fagan’s homeroom teacher decades ago.

“Working in Ledyard has been really important to me. My high school years were excellent, and my time at Ledyard High School and my interactions with coaches and with teachers really shaped who I turned out to be,” Fagan said Monday. “For me, that’s always been really important, to come back to the forum that created me.”

Gabordi is retiring after 37 years in the district. Also a Ledyard High School graduate, he returned to the school district in 1975.

Gabordi and Fagan will share a moment in the spotlight together this Friday and Saturday, when they will play husband and wife in the school’s production of “Bye Bye Birdie.”

“Lou has been an incredibly important mentor to me, both as an English teacher and as an administrator,” Fagan said. “He’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, so I’ve benefited from our many conversations and my observations of him. I’ve got big shoes to fill.”

Fagan returned to the Ledyard school system in 2000 after graduating from Fordham University. She has been an English teacher at the high school for more than 10 years and has also served as the English and social studies department chairwoman. She was the high school’s interim assistant principal last year and is a curriculum specialist helping to implement the state’s Common Core State Standards.

“She’s earned a great deal of respect, and it was obvious that the teachers see her as an instructional leader,” Superintendent Michael Graner said. “We had some quality input regarding her as a colleague, as a department leader and as a teacher. Virtually everybody had great things to say about her.”

Gabordi said Monday that he couldn’t be more pleased with Fagan’s selection.

“She’s the perfect person to step in now. I just feel good about the fact that the students at Ledyard High School are going to have someone like Amanda to lead them,” he said.

Even though Gabordi is leaving the high school, he said that he doesn’t have plans to fully retire. Ultimately, he said, he would like to continue working in public education on an interim or part-time basis.

“My heart is and will forever be at Ledyard High School,” Gabordi said. “It’s hard for me to reflect on being at Ledyard because it’s just such a part of me. I’ve been very fortunate, really beyond what anybody has a right to expect.”

j.hanckel@theday.com

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