Shelton school board taps new special ed head, replacing retiring Beth Smith

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 — The school district will soon have a new head of special education.

The Board of Education at its meeting last week approved the hire of William Roland as the district’s supervisor of special education. Roland will officially assume the post July 1 after the retirement of longtime district veteran Beth Smith.

“I am extremely excited to bring Bill to Shelton as a member of our leadership team,” Superintendent Ken Saranich said. “As a member of the team, he will be an important part of addressing our needs in the areas of special education.”

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 Ed. D 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 steps 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 was a candidate for the superintendent position, but removed her name from consideration in late September, instead announcing she will retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

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