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Kristina Martineau, principal at Valley Regional High School, has been selected by the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) as the statewide professional organization's Outstanding First Year Principal. The award recognizes a first-year principal who has had a positive impact on her school and "demonstrates exemplary instructional and organizational leadership, a willingness to take risks, and the ability to overcome adversity," CAS said.
Responding to the announcement of the award, Martineau said, "I have said from the very start of my time at Valley Regional High School that this is an amazing school community. I have the honor of working closely with a school community that is passionate about and committed to providing the best possible education for all of our students in Deep River, Chester, and Essex.
"In my fifth year now as a member of the administrative team and school community at Valley Regional High School, I continue to be inspired by our students' passion and talent in a wide variety of interests, including, but not limited to the arts, academics, music, technology, and athletics," she continued. "This is the kind of school community that makes one want to be a high school student all over again. There are many opportunities for personal and individual growth to best prepare students for success in college, careers, and in life."
She added, "We have been recognized on local, state, and national levels as a school of excellence year after year. This is not the work of one, but of many. We are fortunate to have a community that both expects and supports the best for our kids. I look forward to many years ahead at Valley Regional High School."
The award recognizes the 2011-2012 school year, which was not Martineau's first at Valley. She came to the school in 2008-2009 as an associate principal. Previously she had been Dean of Students at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield. She served as associate principal at Valley for two years and was then named interim principal when former principal Ian Nevaiser moved on to become the school district's assistant superintendent. She served in the interim position for a year while the Region 4 Board of Education and the administration conducted a statewide search for a high school principal. Martineau was their choice. Last school year was formally her first as principal.
Nominations are made by superintendents, teachers, or colleague principals. For Martineau, the nomination came from Valley Vice-Principal Matt Talmadge.
In making the nominating, Talmadge said, in part, "It is exciting to work in an environment of ever-increasing productivity and positivity. It is moving to work for a principal who believes in the power of education. It is imperative that such leaders be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments."