NFA names new head of school
Norwich ―Norwich Free Academy announced Monday that its Board of Trustees has appointed Nathan Quesnel, the current superintendent of schools in East Hartford, as its next head of school.
Quesnel will replace Brian Kelly whose last day of work is scheduled for June 30, 2023. Quesnel is scheduled to start work the next day. Kelly was hired on a three-year contract in May of 2020.
In announcing the hiring, DeVol Joyner, chair of the school’s Board of Trustees said it was “important for us to find a leader who will not only continue to guide the work to secure our place as a leading secondary school in the state, but also continue to build upon and grow the fundamental pride so many have in this institution.”
“The Board is confident we have found that leader in Nathan Quesnel. With his experience in East Hartford, as well as his knowledge of the region and state, he is poised to help grow the Academy while preserving the many traditions important to it,” he said.
In East Hartford, Quesnel has overseen 15 schools with more than 7,000 students over the past 10 years. He previously worked as the principal of East Hartford Middle School and assistant principal at East Hartford High School. He began work in East Hartford in 2002 as an English teacher. He recently received his doctorate from the University of Connecticut, which is where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He has also completed his sixth year education at Southern Connecticut State University. Quesnel, who lives in Portland, is married with seven children.
“I am so grateful for the trust put in me by the Board of Trustees,” Quesnel said in statement released by the school. “As I have progressed through the recruitment and interview process, I have been excited about the opportunity to become part of the rich tradition and reputation of NFA. From the very beginning of this process, I was drawn to the unique governance structure of the Academy and the rich cultural tapestry that makes this school such a special place. While I know great work has been done, great work must continue. I look forward to working together to ensure we are preparing our students for success and fulfilling the mission first presented by John P. Gulliver more than 150 years ago.”
David Kalla, a trustee who headed the school’s search committee, said it had “an incredibly competitive pool of candidates” for the job.