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New Principal named to HKMS 11/2014

Submitted by Sue Twachtman, Chairman, RSD #17 Board of Education.

On Monday, November 24th, the Region 17 Board of Education voted and appointed Dr. Jennifer Olsen as the next Principal of Haddam Killingworth Middle School.  Dr. Olsen successfully completed a series of interviews and impressed committee members with her energy, leadership skills, deep knowledge in curriculum and instruction, and understanding of the importance of a positive school culture to the HKMS school community.

Dr. Olsen began her teaching career here in Haddam Killingworth as an 8th grade Social Studies teacher where she served as an 8th Grade team leader and was awarded “Teacher of the Year,” as well as “District Teacher of the Year.” Her professional experiences also include leadership positions at Irving A. Robbins Middle School in Farmington, a Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator (K-12) in Tolland, and she is currently serving as the Assistant Principal of William J. Johnston Middle School in Colchester where she is often referred to as a co-principal due to her strong leadership skills and dedication to students and staff. Dr. Olsen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Duke University, a Master’s Degree from Wesleyan University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Hartford. Dr. Olsen says that she is delighted to return to her teaching roots at RSD 17 and throughout the interview process, she communicated her understanding of the many elements that make the HKMS community so special. Dr. Olsen will be visiting the HKMS in December and plans to begin in her new role as Principal in January following the retirement of HKMS Principal Mrs. Mim Wagner.

“Board of Education members were very impressed with Dr. Olsen’s qualifications and strong commitment to student learning, continuous improvement, as well as her true understanding of building and maintaining a positive school climate. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Olsen to HKMS and are eager for families and community members who support our outstanding Middle School to meet her in the coming months,” states Sue Twachtman.