Waterford — The Board of Education on Wednesday named Andre Hauser, principal of Coginchaug High School, as the new principal of Waterford High School.
Hauser, 43, will fill a vacancy created by the planned departure of current principal Donald Macrino. Hauser will join the Waterford school system in May.
"I'm very excited about it, it's a tremendous opportunity," Hauser said by phone Wednesday afternoon. "It's an exciting opportunity to be in a position to work with a faculty in such a state-of-the-art facility. The progress the faculty has made over the last few years and the incredible gains they've had with CAPT (Connecticut Academic Performance Test), this is clearly a faculty that has figured out how to do things well."
Coginchaug High School, which is part of the Region 13 school district, serves students from Durham and Middlefield. Hauser became the school's assistant principal in 2003 and has been principal there since July 2010.
During his time at Coginchaug, Hauser held school climate as a priority and focused on improving instructional quality through effective supervision.
In 2008, he was recognized as the Connecticut Association of Schools' Assistant Principal of the Year.
Hauser holds a sixth-year degree in educational leadership from the University of Connecticut, a master's degree in teaching from Sacred Heart University and a bachelor's degree in journalism and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Macrino will retire in June, at the end of his 17th year as Waterford High's principal. He announced his retirement last year but agreed to stay on for another year to oversee the opening of the new high school next month.
In 2008, he was named state Principal of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Schools and this year entered his 40th year as an educator, with 20-year positions in both New London and Waterford schools.
Macrino and Hauser — who were both at the same 2008 CAS banquet to accept their awards — will work together for the last month of school.
Coginchaug has had a Bring Your Own Device policy for the past two years, which allows students to bring their own laptops, e-readers or iPads to school. Hauser said Wednesday the program has been successful and he hopes to bring its success to Waterford.
"It's really changed the environment in terms of what we've been able to do with learning," he said. "The new high school building is designed with that in mind. There's Wi-Fi access everywhere, it's a technology-rich environment. Now we need to figure out how to best use it and capitalize on the skills the faculty already have."
He said he's had the opportunity to visit the "remarkable" new high school in Waterford, which will open to students on April 8. The grand opening is scheduled for April 20.
"The community should really be proud of what they've invested in for the students," Hauser said.
Hauser, his wife, Lisa, and their two sons plan to stay in their home in Madison.
Superintendent Jerome Belair said in a press release Wednesday that the district is "fortunate to have Hauser's outstanding leadership skills and instructional expertise (to) support the work already in progress."