For the second time this year, Ridgefield is getting a new face in the school system from Greenwich.
Cos Cob School Principal Kimberly Beck has been appointed assistant superintendent of the Ridgefield Public Schools, the district announced today.
Beck has been principal of the 388-student Cos Cob school since 2007. Prior to Greenwich, she was assistant at the Silvermine School in Norwalk. She began her career in West Hartford after earning her teaching degree at Framingham State College.
Her appointment is effective January 2013.
This is the second time that Ridgefield Public Schools have hired a Greenwich administrator. In May, Greenwich Assistant School Superintendent Stacey Gross was hired as principal of Ridgefield High School.
In a statement released by Greenwich Public Schools, Beck said:
“For almost six years, I have had the privilege of being the Proud Principal of Cos Cob School. There is nothing I am more humbled by than the unrelenting support of the entire learning community. I have been honored to work alongside the students, faculty and parents. Additionally, I have learned a tremendous amount from my principal colleagues and through my collaboration with central office administration. I am very excited to start another chapter in my professional career. However, I will greatly miss the people that I have had the good fortune of working with across the district.”
Deborah Low, Superintendent of Ridgefield Schools, said, "I believe Ms. Kimberly Beck has the knowledge, leadership skills, and experience necessary to be an excellent Assistant Superintendent and help Ridgefield successfully meet and exceed the challenges of the future. I believe she will both build on our strengths and move us forward."
Greenwich Superintendent of Schools Dr. William S. McKersie said, "Kim Beck has given her head, heart, and hand to the Greenwich Public Schools for 11 years. From the first day we met, she has stood out for her educational expertise and passion for student learning. We will miss her greatly and Cos Cob will miss her greatly. We are confident that Mrs. Beck will bring her excellence and passion to benefit all students in Ridgefield."
The Ridgefield school district release follows:
Following her position in Norwalk, Ms. Beck became Principal of Cos Cob Elementary School in Greenwich in 2007. Her responsibilities include developing and implementing strategic improvement plans, engaging parents as partners, providing job-embedded professional development, implementing Common Core State Standards and 21st Century Thinking Skills, and management of all building operations, facilities, and budget. At the district level, she is actively engaged in the district leadership, administrator evaluation, technology, and Capstone Project committees. She is also a district trainer in data teams and student assistant teams. In addition, Ms. Beck is a regular presenter in courses at University of Bridgeport.
Dr. Ellen Flanagan, Deputy Superintendent Greenwich Public Schools, described Ms. Beck’s contributions in Greenwich. Her leadership as principal resulted in strong academic gains and improvements in staff morale and parent cohesiveness. She noted that Ms. Beck built parent involvement and Cos Cob parents are now among the most active in the district budget process. She described Ms. Beck’s strength in the educational use of technology and her leadership and skill in teacher evaluation. Dr. Flanagan also stated that Ms. Beck is a valued member of the district leadership team and a “go-to” person who understands the district perspective.
Mr. Jeff Libby, Greenwich District Coordinator of Special Education, described Ms. Beck as "wildly intelligent" and a "friend of all kids." He described her concern for the progress of all students and her understanding of their need for successful progression to middle school and high school. He described her team-building approach to leadership, her high level of professionalism, and warm and engaging style.
Mr. Ralph Mayo, Principal of Eastern Middle School, described Ms. Beck’s strong skills in supervision and evaluation and stated that she was “one of the brightest people” he knew.
During the site visit, fellow administrators were enthusiastic about Ms. Beck’s superior knowledge of pedagogy, her in-depth knowledge of the Common Core State Standards, and her ability to use data to set targets for growth. Ms. Beck was described as always keeping her eye on where her school needs to go and taking a leadership role with her administrative colleagues.
Ten members of the Cos Cob faculty and staff were enthusiastic in their description of Ms. Beck. Terms used to describe Ms. Beck included forward thinker, knowledgeable of best practices, articulate, and compassionate.
They described that Ms. Beck understands her teachers and works with them to provide professional development tailored to their needs. She makes decisions in a collaborative manner but always with the educational needs of students as the priority. When major initiatives need to be implemented, Ms. Beck successfully communicates the needs to the staff and rolls out the changes in a reasonable manner. She builds enthusiasm and self-confidence in the staff.
The site visit team also heard feedback from Cos Cob Elementary School parents.
Parents feel that she is a “dynamic and innovative leader” and a “strategic thinker” who cares deeply about students and their learning. They stated that she “eats, breathes, and sleeps” education.
Ms. Beck was able to build consensus in a large group of PTA leaders with divergent opinions. She accomplished this by focusing on the core values that she had developed in the school and brought those values into the group meeting. Ms. Beck’s process for developing the core values has been replicated in other schools.
Administrators, teachers, and parents consistently described that Ms. Beck had provided strong, creative, and compassionate leadership that helped turn the school in a positive direction after a prior period of upheaval. They all also commented on her tremendous work ethic.