LEICESTER, Mass. — A little more than half-way through her first month at the helm of Leicester Public Schools, new superintendent Judith Paolucci has been working to get to know the district and community.
While she knows the process will take some time, Paolucci has hit the ground running with a formal entry plan she designed to help her develop a comprehensive understanding of Leicester's schools, its strengths and needs, and the concerns from the community.
"The concept of an entry plan is to systematically meet with people and ask similar questions and gather data to really gain an understanding of different perspectives on the district, especially since I didn't come from Leicester" said Paolucci.
Furthermore, the superintendent hopes "to build a team of administrators to move the district forward in a positive way for students," she said.
While still learning about Leicester's strengths and weaknesses, Paolucci said "one of the things I've heard we've lagged behind in is instructional technology."
Coming from Maine, where every school had a 1:1 laptop program, Paolucci saw firsthand how access to technology could be an equalizer.
"I think there's lots of different ways to open up the world of technology to students, but we have to figure out the best way to do it for us," said Paolucci.
Paolucci also hopes to establish a strong working relationship with Leicester's town officials, and has been meeting with the town administrator and chair of the board of selectmen in a further endeavor to understand the community's needs.
Additionally, while in Maine, Paolucci she worked with the town manager to share one mechanic's garage for both the school district and town, and also worked with the police chief to bring in a grant to make the schools safer.
"A lot of that cooperation makes the schools better and makes for better service to the community," she said.
"Everybody lends some insight onto the district, so that will help me in serving the district as best as I can," Paolucci continued. "I want to learn about school operations, and coming in the middle of the year that's my first priority, but I also want to learn more about how the town operates and how we can work better together to have the best little town in Central Massachusetts."