By Jamie Wiggan
Sto-Rox directors hired Megan Van Fossan as the district’s new superintendent May 11, concluding a months-long search process to replace Frank Dalmas.
Van Fossan joined the district earlier this year to take on a newly-created role as assistant to the superintendent. She said her first moves as top admin will be to strengthen relationships throughout the district and empower teachers to become more effective educators.
“The foundation of all the work we do in education is about relationships and making sure we’re listening deeply,” she said.
Van Fossan will replace Acting Superintendent Joseph Dimperio, and will take the title of substitute superintendent until Dalmas – on paid leave since November 2021 – retires in January 2023.
Prior to joining the district, Van Fossan most recently worked as director of student services of the McGuffey School District. She holds certifications in school management and leadership from the Harvard Business School, and in advanced education leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Van Fossan is beginning her new role during a season of transition at Sto-Rox. In April, directors approved a multi-year recovery plan aimed at staving off its spiraling budget deficit and restoring financial solvency.
To achieve that, the plan lays out an ambitious call to recruit large numbers of students to the district who left it for charter and cyber systems.
Van Fossan said she wants to uphold high expectations for Sto-Rox students while “empower[ing] teachers to meet them where they are.”
“I knew since I got here that this is where I want to work,” she said. “I don’t have to set my alarm clock in the morning – I want to come to work, and that’s how I know I’m in the right place.”
The board also hired Kimberly Price as high school principal, replacing Sam Weaver who resigned in March. Price – who most recently served as a middle school principal in the Highlands School District – said she was drawn to the role by the passion she saw in other educators and school leaders.
“The more I read about Sto-Rox, the more excited I am about the possibility of getting to serve the kids,” she said.
Price began teaching music and directed a youth orchestra in Texas before shifting her focus to public school administration.
“I don’t come with magic wands or some sort of magic bullet where we can just make everything work, but I come confident that the team that I work with loves these kids,” she said.
“I’m very very excited to join this team.”
Also during the meeting, the board appointed resident Kimberly Spriggs to fill a vacancy created by the departure of James Grimm in April.
During a public interview prior to the meeting, Spriggs described herself as a passionate community advocate who works with children and previously served for several years on the Sto-Rox Little Vikings board of directors.
“I would just hope to bring in something positive to the board,” Spriggs said.
The board is looking to fill a new vacancy created by the resignation of Bobby Sangricco.
Sangricco and Grimm both took their seats after the general election in November 2021. Neither gave public statements spelling out their reasons for stepping down.
Girls basketball coach Kelly Connolly announced her departure from the district during the May 11 board meeting.
Thanking directors for their support during her three years of coaching, Connolly described her resignation as “a very difficult decision.”
“I do not plan to disappear from the district,” said the 2009 graduate. “...I just have to fill up my cup before I pour into others.”