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East Lyme High School principal resigns for new position

East Lyme — After serving as East Lyme High School's principal for the past 10 years, Michael Susi has announced he is resigning from his position and taking a central office position at The Woodstock Academy.

He sent a letter to students' parents last week announcing the decision.

“I am so grateful for the ten years that I have spent in East Lyme, and I would like to say thank you for all your support during those years,” he wrote in the letter. “It has been a great ten years, and I am very confident that I leave the school in good hands with some of the best educators in the state who care greatly about their students and work tirelessly to support them and their families."

Susi said by phone this week that his new position as associate head of school for finance and operations will be much like an assistant superintendent position for the academy. “I will be transitioning to a central office position at another school where my children can attend, and I can take on a new challenge,” he wrote in his letter. “It is difficult to leave a place that you have called home for ten years, but this is what is best for my family and for me.”

Other than the life change, Susi said he is excited to work in a school that, along with local children, accepts students from around the world. “It’s a very diverse setting,” he said by phone. Of the academy’s 1,150 students, 13% are boarding students from 28 different countries and 17 states, according to the high school’s website.

“Mike has done a fantastic job. He’s been there for 10 years and we appreciate his service to East Lyme Public Schools and we will continue the tradition of excellence,” Superintendent Jeffrey Newton said by phone this week. He said the Board of Education soon will start the hiring process to replace Susi.

During his tenure, Susi helped lead the school to receive a prestigious National Blue Ribbon award in 2017. "It’s quite an accomplishment, and it’s tough to be recognized,” Newton said.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools "based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” the U.S. Department of Education, which organizes the program, states on its website. East Lyme High School was one of 50 schools nationwide to be recognized in 2017, Susi said, though he added, "You don't get that type of ranking without great kids and great family support ... I’m grateful for all the support the community and parents and students have given me."

Before taking his position in East Lyme, Susi served as principal at North Stonington’s Wheeler Middle/High School and before that was an assistant principal at Haddam-Killingworth Middle School.

“I have enjoyed my time at East Lyme High School immensely,” Susi wrote in his letter. “The teachers, administrators, staff members, parents, and students that I have had the pleasure of working with during this last decade will leave a lasting impression on me for many years to come.”

m.biekert@theday.com

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