Familiar face joins Shelton school district’s finance office

Exterior view of the Board of Education offices in Shelton, Conn. Nov. 5, 2020.

Exterior view of the Board of Education offices in Shelton, Conn. Nov. 5, 2020.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — Superintendent Ken Saranich’s revamping of central office continued last month with the hiring of a familiar face.

Allan Cameron, who spent 18 years as the district’s finance director before retiring in 2014, was hired as a per diem interim finance director. Cameron returns to replace Rick Belden, whose retirement became official July 1.

“We’re happy to have Allan’s support through the summer and the beginning of the school year,” Saranich said. “He’s excited to be back … he will be a great benefit to us in a time of need.”

Saranich said Cameron, after his retirement, spent time acting as interim finance director for other districts — most recently Trumbull.

“Mr. Cameron brings a wealth of background knowledge and expertise to the position,” Board of Education Chair Kathy Yolish said. “We are fortunate to have his availability to assist us in the transition when seeking a permanent finance director. We look forward to a collaborative effort with Mr. Cameron and are happy to have him back on board.”

According to Saranich, the district is presently performing an operational financial audit focused on how the school’s finance department can be run more efficiently.

“This audit will be important in how we proceed with the search process (for Belden’s permanent replacement) … Allan will be here to help us through that,” Saranich added.

Yolish said Cameron will be working with PKF O’Connor Davies, the firm the board hired to perform the operational audit of the district’s financial-related policies and procedures. Cameron worked with the same firm when Trumbull withstood their district’s financial and operational audit.

Cameron’s hiring comes as Saranich completed the reorganization of the special education department. Margaret Giordano, at the Board of Education meeting last month, was appointed supervisor of special education for compliance, inclusion and professional learning.

Saranich said Giordano joins Shelton from the Philadelphia Public School system, where she served as the special education compliance monitor.

“As a member of that leadership team, she coordinated and monitored special education programming ensuring compliance with all state and local mandates and provided coaching and instructional modeling,” Saranich said.

Before that position, Giordano spent time as a special education teacher in Philadelphia and New York. She obtained her school leadership certification from the University of Pennsylvania. Giordano holds certifications in administration, special education and English.

Giordano’s hire comes only weeks after the Board of Education hired William Roland as the district’s supervisor of special education. Roland and Giordano officially assumed their posts July 1 after the retirement of longtime district veteran Beth Smith.

Roland was most recently in Region 15 working as special education department chair for Pomperaug High School in Southbury. Saranich said the contract details are being worked out at this time, so no salary has been set.

Before his time in Region 15, Saranich said, Roland held various special education and leadership positions in the New Haven Public School system as well as at the Area Cooperative Educational Services in Hamden.

Roland received his administrative degrees from the University of Bridgeport in 2013 and is now pursuing his doctorate of education in educational leadership.

“Bill comes to us with an extensive background in special education at the secondary level,” Saranich said, “where he has successfully led instructional teams in the development and implementation of programs and supports toward student achievement.”

Roland and Giordano step in for Smith, who was in her second run as the district’s director of special education and support services. Smith had been the interim schools superintendent from February 2020 — after the departure of Chris Clouet — until Jan. 1, when Saranich assumed the reins.

Smith leaves Shelton at the end of the month after 35 years in education, most notably as the Shelton High principal.