New duties for Van Etten, Theodore in Stonington

Stonington - The school system announced this week that it has appointed high school guidance director Allison Van Etten as the system's new director of special services, and the town has said it has restructured the management of the Human Services Department.

Van Etten, who will oversee special education for the district, replaces Virginia Brown, who resigned to take a similar job in Guilford.

Van Etten, a 1990 graduate of Stonington High School, has worked the past 18 years in the Stonington schools. She spent the first six years as a special education teacher at Mystic Middle School. She went on to become a guidance counselor at both Mystic Middle School and the high school. For the past several years, she has been the high school's director of guidance and administrator of special services.

Meanwhile, First Selectman Ed Haberek has announced that Leanne Theodore, the youth and family services administrator in the Department of Human Services, will take on some of the department's managerial responsibilities and be paid an additional $10,000.

Haberek reiterated that he does not plan to replace former Director of Human Services Beth Stewart, who resigned last year to become the executive director of the Stonington Community Center.

That decision, coupled with Theodore's raise, will save the town close to $70,000 in salary.

Haberek said he worked with the Stonington Professional Administrators' union to modify the job description. Haberek said that in addition to her regular responsibilities, Theodore will now also spend time on issues such as personnel, budgeting and programming. She will report to Haberek.

He praised Theodore along with Carol Umphlett, the department's social services administrator, for keeping the department functioning after Stewart's departure and during Hurricane Sandy.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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