The Ridgefield Public Schools Board of Education announced that Dr. Susie Da Silva, Darien’s assistant superintendent of schools for curriculum and instruction, has been appointed as the next superintendent of schools for Ridgefield.
She will start the Ridgefield job on April 1.
— an announcement from Ridgefield Public Schools combined with reporting from Thursday night’s Darien Board of Education meeting.
Da Silva’s appointment was made a special meeting of the Ridgefield Board of Education on Thursday, Jan. 2.
Dr. Alan Addley, superintendent of Darien schools, praised Da Silva when he announced her departure at Thursday night’s special meeting of the Darien Board of Education:
“It’s with a little bit of mixed emotions that I have something to share with you,” he said. “Dr. Da Silva was literally appointed moments ago as superintendent of Ridgefield Public Schools.
“She’s an exceptional school administrator […] and she is more than ready for the challenges of a superintendent, and she’ll do a terrific job up in Ridgefield,” he said. “I, professionally and personally, have really greatly appreciated her support, her counsel, along the way […] We congratulate her, and I look forward to hearing many successful stories along the way.”
Board of Education Chairperson Tara Ochman said: “It’s certainly with regret that we let her go, but we’re also so incredibly proud of all the work she’s done here in the district in the last five years. […] She wanted to make sure that the board and the public knew that Darien has the best teachers […] she believes our teaching staff is top-notch.”
Da Silva comes to Ridgefield with “a wealth of experience as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent,” the Ridgefield announcement said.
“Dr. Da Silva is known to be an outstanding administrator who builds strong relationships and works collaboratively with her teams to accomplish district goals while keeping students at the center of the work,” Ridgefield board Chairwoman Margaret Stamatis said.
Before taking the current position in Darien, Dr. Da Silva was principal of Kings Highway Elementary School in Westport and Woodrow Wilson School in Waterbury.
“It is clear that children are at the heart of the Ridgefield community and I will work tirelessly, alongside my colleagues to ensure that we provide Ridgefield students the best learning experience possible,” Dr. Da Silva said. “By all measures Ridgefield’s staff is incredibly talented and I look forward to getting to know each of them this coming spring.”
Before becoming an administrator, she taught in Fairfield, Bridgeport, and Waterbury. Dr. Da Silva has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford and the University of Bridgeport.
Dr. Da Silva earned a doctorate degree in Education from Central Connecticut State University, where she also earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in Spanish, and a Master’s in Reading.
Da Silva replaces interim superintendent Dr. JeanAnn Paddyfote, who took over at the beginning of the summer after Superintendent Dr. William Collins went out on medical leave and then resigned due to medical complications.
The search for the new superintendent was facilitated by consultants from Cooperative Educational Services (C.E.S.) in Trumbull. Da Silva was chosen from a pool of 17 applicants.
Memo from Superintendent Addley
Addley sent this memo Thursday to all school district staff:
Good evening. It is with mixed emotions I share with you that Dr. Susie Da Silva has accepted the position of Superintendent of Schools for the Ridgefield Public Schools, effective April 1, 2020.
While I have only had the good fortune to work with Dr. Da Siva for a few months, it is clear that she is professionally ready and excited about her next challenge as a Superintendent of Schools. Ridgefield is lucky to have Dr. Da Silva lead their school system.
Since joining the Darien Public Schools five years ago, Dr. Da Silva has provided exceptional leadership. She has worked passionately to ensure every student in Darien receives the best possible education. Dr. Da Silva’s expertise and hard work have greatly improved the content and coherence of the PK-12 curriculum and has improved teaching and learning across the District.
Dr. Da Silva also instituted a robust SRBI program and a new math program at the elementary level, added both time and rigor to the World Language program at both the elementary and middle school levels and is in the midst of implementing a new social emotional learning curriculum. Under Dr. Da Silva’s leadership, the District implemented learning rounds to support student learning through teacher feedback. Dr. Da Silva has also worked diligently to increase the District’s communication with families sand the community.
Professionally and personally, I have greatly appreciated Dr. Da Silva’s assistance, counsel and support during my own transition to the District. We all look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Da Silva for the remainder of her tenure here and as the District commences its search process for a successor.
Please join me thanking Dr. Da Silva for her dedicated service and significant contributions to the District over the past five years and in wishing her well in her new professional endeavor.
Alan Addley Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools