Get inspirED!

Hello and welcome back to school! I hope you enjoyed a restful and enjoyable summer vacation with your family.

We are so excited to welcome you and your student(s) to the 2019-20 school year!  I would like to extend a very special welcome to our new 7th grade students and families. We are very proud of Regional School District No. 7.  We recognize that your support helps us provide an exceptional education for our students.  We deeply appreciate the many ways you support our many efforts.

Our administrative team has been working on developing our schools’ continuous improvement plans, hiring new staff, planning for professional development and ensuring our teachers are fully supported to start the new year.  As you already know, our teachers are exceptional people and extraordinary educators.  I am immensely proud of them.

Please join me in welcoming this year’s new faculty members:

Mark Prelli, High School Mathematics Teacher.  He is replacing Mrs. Debora Stafford who retired last year.  Mark comes to us from the CREC Classical Magnet School. 

Ross Griffith, High School Mathematics Teacher.  Ross is replacing Mr. Jim Paniati who recently retired.  Ross comes from the CREC Civics Leadership High School.

Brooke Ransom, High School Science Teacher.  She is replacing Dr. Guy Hayes who retired last year.  Brooke has recently graduated with a Master’s Degree from St. Joseph University. 

Jessica Searson, Middle School Counselor.  She is replacing Bruce Miller who retired last year. Jessica comes to us from New Hartford where she was a classroom teacher. 

Kevin Carey, High School STEM Teacher.  This is a new position that was necessary to meet the High School Reform mandate that includes science, technology, engineering and mathematics electives as part of the updated graduation requirements.  Kevin comes to us from Daniel Hand High School. 

James Hayes, Middle School Special Education Teacher.  James is replacing Mrs. Kim Pradhan who retired last year.  He comes to us from the New Haven Public Schools.

Megan Ficke, Special Education Teacher.  Megan is replacing Julie Briere who recently moved overseas.  Megan will be working in the LINKS program.  She comes to us from the Torrington Public Schools.

Rebekah Woodworth, .8 Agricultural Education Teacher.  This new position was made possible and fully paid for by an Agricultural Education grant from the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Hayley Labrecque, School Psychologist.  She is replacing Mrs. Rosalind Leibowitz who retired last year.  Hayley has just graduated from the University of Hartford.  This position is made available through Shared Services.

As you can see, we are welcoming a number of new faculty members this year.  I am so pleased with these fine educators and grateful that they are now part of the Northwestern family.  I know that our students will enjoy their time with them.

Our District Goals are posted on our website.  These goals set the direction for all that we do as a school system.  We will continue our work toward augmenting our curriculum, improving instructional and assessment practices.  We will continue our work in supporting our students with social and emotional learning skills in a variety of ways.  We will also continue our focus on expanding opportunities for parent and community engagement.

There are so many things to be proud of here at Northwestern.  There are three things I would like to briefly highlight.  Our students’ SAT scores were fantastic with 75% of our students meeting or exceeding goal in mathematics!  That ranks Northwestern 9th in the state of Connecticut.  Our teachers and students did a fantastic job!   Further, we had 116 Advanced Placement students last year.  103 of those students passed the AP test with a 3+.  That equates to a 90% pass rate!  This is another measure of the high level of teaching and learning that occurs at the high school.  Further, 72% of our 7th and 8th grade students met or exceeded the goal for English Language Arts on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which is another remarkable accomplishment.  There are many reasons for these successful results.  I am proud that our administrators, teachers, students and families are working together to create an exceptional educational experience.  This is why we consider RSD 7, “The Pride of the Northwest Corner.”

In fact, you will see that banner when you enter our new state-of-the-art visitor welcoming area.  Our guests will be welcomed by Mrs. Carol Wilson at a new sign-in window in the vestibule of the Main Office.  Visitors will be given stickers to wear instead of the red lanyards.  This new sign-in system was paid for by a school security grant from the State of Connecticut.

On another note, I have received the following communication from Homeland Security regarding on-line safety and cyber security.  It includes terrific resources that you may find helpful.

From The National Cyber Awareness System:

Cyber Safety for Students<>
08/20/2019 09:27 AM EDT

Original release date: August 20, 2019

As summer break ends, many students will return to school with mobile devices, such as smart phones, tablets, and laptops. Although these devices can help students complete schoolwork and stay in touch with family and friends, there are risks associated with using them. However, there are simple steps that can help students stay safe while using their internet-connected devices.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends reviewing the following resources for more information on cyber safety for students:

  *   Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit<>
  *   Stay Safe Online<>
  *   Before You Connect a New Computer to the Internet<>
  *   Keeping Children Safe Online<>
  *   Rethink Cyber Safety Rules and the "Tech Talk" with Your Teens<>
  *   Concerned Parent's Internet Safety Toolbox<>

This product is provided subject to this Notification<> and this Privacy & Use<> policy.


We cannot wait to open our doors to your child(ren) on Wednesday morning.  They will come in filled with hope for a great school year.  We intend to do everything in our power to ensure they have everything they need to fulfill that vision. 

I look forward to watching our athletic teams get underway.  If you have a student athlete, please be sure all of your paperwork is in order.  Also, please be sure your student has updated physicals and vaccinations on file in the Nurse’s Office.  As you know, state law mandates that all vaccinations are current prior to entering 7th grade.

Our administrators are always available to you and can easily be reached via email or by calling the school offices.  I am here for you as well.  I can be reached at or by calling 860-738-1084 ext. 2401.

I am grateful to lead this wonderful school system with a Board of Education that is dedicated to supporting our goals, staff and students. 

Here’s looking forward to a wonderful school year full of great accomplishments and numerous celebrations!


Judy Palmer, Superintendent of Schools


Superintendent's 2019-20 District Goals Overview


Please reach out to our administrative team if there is anything we can do for you or your student:

Mr. Ken Chichester, High School Principal:

Mr. Fran Amara, Middle School Principal:

Mr. Andy Bakulski, House I Housemaster:

Mr. Gary Franklin, House II Housemaster:

Dr. Judith Palmer, Superintendent:

Northwestern High School:  860-379-8525, Northwestern Middle School:  860-379-7243 or the Superintendent’s Office:  860-379-1084

I look forward to another exceptional school year.  Enjoy the last few days of summer vacation!


Judy Palmer