Lucia Paolella has been named to the Comer School Development Program National Faculty. In this role she will consult to school leaders on developing collaborative culture and climate to support student development, learning, and achievement.
She began her 40 year career in education as a classroom teacher. Her passion and expertise in reading led to positions as a literacy mentor and a curriculum staff developer. She served as the assistant principal of two New Haven elementary schools--Worthington Hooker and Conte-West Hills--before her appointment as the principal of Nathan Hale School.
Under her leadership Nathan Hale became an exemplary K-8 Comer School. During her tenure she was recognized as a leader who successfully engaged students, staff, and parents. She hosted visits by journalists who wanted to write about the model; policy makers who wanted to understand more about the inextricable link between development and learning; and educators who wanted to implement the model effectively in their schools and districts.
She has also mentored principals and aspiring administrators in New Haven in effective leadership practices and strategies to integrate elements of the Comer model including the philosophy, Guiding Principles, and the Six Developmental Pathways into magnet school themes.
In 2013 when she retired from the New Haven Public Schools after 22 years of service, she received the prestigious Patrick Francis Daly Memorial Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership from Yale University. This award has been given to Comer principals who have demonstrated both outstanding leadership and commitment to children.
Paolella consults with district and school leaders in the Bridgeport Public Schools to develop and monitor School Improvement Plans. She also coaches and advises school leadership teams in best practices to increase student achievement. Her focus is on creating highly effective teams: leadership, grade-level, vertical, curriculum, and data teams.
Paolella received a B.A. in Social Work and a M.S. in Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut State University; a Sixth Year Professional Diploma in Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts; and Intermediate Administration and Supervision certification.