New guy in charge at Stratford High

By Melvin Mason on July 8, 2015

Once a Stratford boy, John “Jack” Dellapiano is now the man calling the shots at Stratford High School.

But even as he takes the helm at Stratford High, the new principal expects plenty of collaboration in educating Stratford High students.

“Teachers don’t work in isolation and administrators can’t work in isolation,” Dellapiano said, getting used to his new position. “When we hit roadblocks, we have to talk about how to effectively move by them.”

Dellapiano was chosen last week by the Stratford Board of Education to take over as principal at SHS. He succeeds Joe Corso, who moved on to Lyman Hall High School in Wallingford.

Dellapiano, 45, is familiar enough with Stratford, having grown up in town and having lived here most of his life before moving to Monroe about 11 years ago. Dellapiano graduated from Bunnell High School in 1987. After working as a physical education teacher at Harborside Middle School in Milford and dean of students at Fairfield Public Schools, Dellapiano came back to Stratford about eight years ago, as an assistant principal at Flood Middle School. Dellapiano later became principal at Flood, serving there for eight years.

“The town’s been a great place to be. I’m looking forward to doing great at Stratford High School.”

Dellapiano does not have his complete plan for SHS in place just yet, waiting to hear from other school administrators. In the week since getting the Stratford High job, Dellapiano has been spending his days between his new school and Flood.

He did get to spend time with Corso over the last three years as administrators at the middle schools and high schools worked hard to make sure the services students received were similar.

“We did really good, collaborative work,” Dellapiano said. “It’s an honor to replace (Corso) and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”

He does have a general idea of what he wants to see when the students return.

“We want to discover the talents the students have and that the staff has. If it weren’t for the teachers in Stratford, I wouldn’t be in education now,” he said. “We want our students to be the best students as possible. We want them to appreciate that they have their lives ahead of them.”

He also wants to make sure the students are prepared for tomorrow. “Whether it’s college, the military or the work force — whatever they want to do,” he said.

Dellapiano also expects to be in touch with Bunnell High principal Nancy Dowling, also new to the job after taking over for the retired Dudley Orr.