Board of Ed Appoints New Mental Health, Security Directors for Darien Schools

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The Darien school district has hired two new directors, one for mental health, and the other — the current police chief of New Canaan — for security.

Director of Mental Health

Dr. Alycia Dadd will assume the position of director of Mental Health in March 2023.

Dadd currently serves as director of consultation services at Cognitive and Behavioral Consultants of Westchester and Manhattan. She currently coordinates training and consultation services to over 100 school-based mental health teams in 35 districts.

“Darien’s resounding call to action around the current student mental health crisis compelled me to explore this unique opportunity to return to public service,” Dadd said. “In getting to know Dr. Addley and the leadership team, their commitment to the emotional well-being of students, staff, and families was evident from the onset. I am honored to join in their undertaking and look forward to working with the entire school community. ”

Alycia Dadd

Dr. Alycia Dadd will become director of mental health for the Darien school district in March.

Prior to joining CBC, Dadd worked for 13 years as a school psychologist providing individual and group counseling, conducting evaluations, and developing social-emotional programs for a wide range of students.

Dadd has also worked in residential programs, in mental health/educational research, and in therapeutic foster care. She has received specialized training in several evidenced-based treatments including Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Multisystemic Therapy.

“Dr. Dadd’s extensive clinical, mental health and school experiences will be invaluable assets and resources to our schools and town in our efforts to support the mental health and social and emotional needs of our students and staff,” Addley said.

She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Delaware, where she majored in psychology and minored in Spanish. She earned her master’s degree in School Psychology from Teachers College – Columbia University and her doctoral degree from Fordham University.

Dadd’s pre-doctoral internship and fieldwork experiences were in public and private schools in Westchester and the Bronx. Her doctoral residency project focused on the developmental nature of executive functions in high school age students.

Her doctoral dissertation, “The Effectiveness of Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Treating MultiProblem Youth in a School Setting” focused on delivery and evaluation outcomes of a school-based DBT program.

Prior to joining CBC, Dadd was instrumental in developing one of the first school-based DBT programs in Westchester County at Pleasantville High School. She helped create and implement several specialized programs to address the needs of students with anxiety, depression, self-injurious behaviors, drug use, OCD, ADHD, eating disorders, autism spectrum disorders and neurological impairments.

She has an extensive background in psychological evaluation, transitioning students to post-secondary experiences and beyond, implementing executive functioning curriculum, and navigating support services from elementary through college years.

Dadd also has led a team of psychologists and social workers to create a credit-bearing high school class based on DBT principles in a local Fairfield County school district. She was subsequently nominated for Westport’s Teacher of the Year for her development of social-emotional programming and her direct service to students and families.

Her team was awarded a grant to create a Zen Den, a technology-free zone to help high school students and teachers use mindfulness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation strategies.

Dadd has served on multiple school climate committees, helped develop district-wide social-emotional guiding principles, and was a member of her district’s Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence – RULER team.

She is a member of both the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists. Dadd is passionate about supporting the mental health of young people and their families as they navigate the transitions from youth to adulthood.

Director of Security

New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski is retiring from the department at the end of the month and will begin his work in the Darien school district on Jan. 9, 2023.

“Chief Krolikowski’s varied and accomplished experiences in law enforcement and school security as the chief of police in New Canaan provide the necessary credentials for this critically important leadership position,” Addley said.

Leon Krolikowski

Contributed photo

New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski will become security director of Darien Public Schools on Jan. 6, 2023.

Krolikowski has been a member of the New Canaan Police Department for over 33 years. Prior to becoming chief In June 2013, he served in many different department roles and ranks of increasing responsibility.

Throughout his tenure in New Canaan, Krolikowski has worked closely with the New Canaan Public Schools on a variety of security improvements and changes in training and protocols.

“I am thrilled to serve as the Darien Public Schools’ first-ever director of security,” Krolikowski said. “School safety and security must be a focused team effort that evolves, embraces best practices, and mitigates risk. Superintendent Addley’s strong leadership and the Darien Board of Education’s forward-looking risk mitigation mindset inspire me.

“I am certain that the Darien School District will become a national leader for best practices in school safety and security. Ultimately, our collaborative work will make Darien Schools safer, inviting, and student-centered.”

Krolikowski earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies from the University of Connecticut and graduated from the Stamford Police Academy. While working full-time as a police officer, Krolikowski earned an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management, a law degree from Quinnipiac Law School, completed an executive education course at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and has begun coursework toward a Ph.D.

Krolikowski is admitted to practice law in the states of Connecticut and New York, Connecticut Federal Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the United States Tax Court. He is a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and he is a Marine Corps Combat Veteran.

His children, Morgan, Kelsey, and Ryan, graduated from the New Canaan school system. Morgan is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, Kelsey is a clinical research team member at NYU Medical Center, and Ryan is a West Point cadet.

Chief Krolikowski has been married to his wife, Anna, an employee of the Town of New Canaan, for more than 28 years. He has lived in New Canaan for over 31 years.

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