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New part-time Salem superintendent appointed with more hours

The Salem Board of Education on Thursday appointed Brian Hendrickson of Noank to replace part-time Superintendent Joseph Onofrio II.

Hendrickson is currently the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Ellington.

Onofrio, who is retiring, has been at the helm of the Salem school district since 2012. He announced his departure plan last summer.

Hendrickson will make $110,000 per year, according to school board Chairman Sean Reith. The year-round, 28-hours-per-week position will include an on-site presence five days per week when school is in session, Reith said.

Onofrio made about $85,000 in his contract, which was for fewer hours a week and did not allow for a daily presence in the district.

Hendrickson began his career as a social studies teacher at Hillcrest Middle School in Trumbull from 2005 to 2010. He went on to become principal at Hop Brook Elementary School and City Hill Middle School in Naugatuck. He served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Suffield before taking his current position in Ellington.

Reith cited Hendrickson's curriculum expertise, ability to support student and staff growth, and his personal warmth as reasons for the selection.

Hendrickson earned his teaching certificate at Southern Connecticut State University and his sixth-year administrative certificate at the University of Connecticut, where he also completed the executive leadership program. He has a law degree from Albany Law School in New York and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Fordham University.

Reith told The Day one of the factors shaping the new contract involved the overwhelming desire of the school community — as gleaned through the search process from parents, teachers, board members and other stakeholders — to have a superintendent on-site every day during the school year.

The school board in a news release said it engaged Connecticut Association of Boards of Education Search Services to guide a study of the district's administrative structure and hiring process. The consultants used feedback from the school community to write the structure report and leadership profile that the school board used in its search for a new leader.

Reith said there were about a dozen candidates for the position.


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