Resident receives distinction of being named among the State's top three school principals

Published on Monday, 9 May 2022 16:24
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


NEWINGTON – A town resident recently received the distinction of being named among the State’s top three school principals.

The Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) selected Cynthia Callahan, principal of John A. Langford School in East Hartford, its 2022 Elementary School Principal of the Year.

Callahan, who lives in Newington, will be honored along with CT’s 2022 Middle and High School Principals of the Year at the CAS’ Celebration of Excellence in Educational Leadership, set for Oct. 20 at Saint Clements Castle in Portland.

“This is such an honor and I am so proud of our school community,” Callahan said. “I am thankful for our committed staff who meet every learner, every day, with rich opportunities for important, purposeful, student-centered learning at Langford. I am very grateful to be a part of the Langford/East Hartford Schools team.”

When she first joined the Langford administration in 2016, the school was reporting a decline in student achievement, discipline issues and low staff morale.

East Hartford Superintendent of Schools Nathan Quesnel credited Callahan with leading the school’s implementation of an overall improvement plan, which he said led to its “remarkable transformation story.”

“Cyndi’s teachers believe in her, they believe in themselves and, most importantly, they believe in our students,” Quesnel pointed out.

One of the initiatives put in place to address students’ ever-changing needs was Grade Level Achievement Meetings (GLAMS).

Over the course of her six-year tenure at Langford, the school was named a School of Distinction by the CT State Department of Education.

Callahan was nominated for the award by East Hartford’s Assistant Superintendent Elsie Torres.

Torres praised her colleague’s ability to lead with “grace, poise, consistency, and with a strong emphasis on building a culture in which everyone cares for one another and supports one another.”

Fellow elementary school Principal Talisha Foy of East Hartford’s O’Brien STEM Academy her colleague’s compassion and empathetic nature.

“Cyndi has a natural talent and innate ability to connect with individuals on all levels,” Foy said. “I have witnessed first-hand the relentless passion and pursuit that drive Cynthia’s strong work ethic and core values. She has established a vision centered on intricate structures and instructional practices that have catapulted student academic success.”

The State Principal of the Year Program was established in 1984 to put a spotlight on principals and their crucial role in shaping children’s educational environment and experiences. A selection committee reviews nominations before making site visits to the workplaces of the top-rated candidates.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Monday, 9 May 2022 16:24. Updated: Monday, 9 May 2022 16:26.