Marks named Booth Hill School principal as staff shuffle continues

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Dina Marks has been named the new principal at Booth Hill School.

Dina Marks has been named the new principal at Booth Hill School.

Brian Gioiele / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — The school district’s staffing shuffle continued this past week as Dina Marks, Shelton Intermediate School principal, moved to the same post at Booth Hill School.

Marks replaces Dr. James Zavodjancik, who recently accepted the position of executive director of instruction, curriculum, and assessment with the Fairfield Public Schools. Zavodjancik had been Booth Hill principal since 2016.

“With the number of administrative vacancies and current pandemic, the district, now more than ever, needs leaders with experience at the building level,” said interim Superintendent Beth Smith. “Dina has that experience, and also the social emotional learning component that will be critical as we plan for reopening school in the fall.”

Overall, the district will have had changeover in four of the seven principal positions as well as the director of special education and the director of technology. The district also had to fill a new central office position — director of curriculum, instruction and data. That does not include the hunt for a permanent school superintendent, a search which has already begun.

“It would be an understatement to note that our times in education are significantly changing and quite perplexing,” said board Chair Kathy Yolish. “We have had to hire new administrators as well as look to use the talent available to support our school system the best way possible. One such talented individual is Dina Marks.”

Yolish said Marks consistently demonstrated strong teaching and leadership skills while at SIS.

“In recognizing her skill set, we knew Booth Hill School would be a great opportunity for her as well as a wonderful placement for us,” said Yolish. “Dina is compassionate, kind, gentle and nurturing. The Booth Hill School community will benefit greatly from all that Dina can provide as an educator and leader.”

Marks’ move opened the intermediate school principal post, which could be filled at the Board of Education’s regular meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. The meeting can be viewed live on the Shelton public school’s website.

The board’s agenda includes discussion and possible vote on filling principal posts at Booth Hill School and Mohegan School, now vacant after former Principal Kristen Santilli was named the district’s new director of curriculum, instruction, and data earlier this month.

Elizabeth Shelton School’s principal position, vacated at the end of this past school year with the retirement of Bev Belden, has filled by Jamie Weber, another longtime member of the district.

The board also maintained continuity at the high school by keeping Kathy Riddle as the interim principal.