July 27, 2018
Hope summer is going well and you are managing to move your beach chair in and out of these recent rain storms!
On Tuesday, July 24th, the East Hartford Board of Education took another important step forward for our district and unanimously selected Ms. Elsie Torres as the new Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools. I wanted to share some exciting news and ask you to join with me in giving her a warm East Hartford welcome. Elsie will begin on August 15th. While we all will miss Cynthia Ritchie as she moves on to be the Superintendent of New London Public Schools, we are thrilled to add Elsie to our team and extremely excited to have her working with each of you!
Our search was a long and rigorous process. Faced by a large and talented applicant pool, we have been humbled by the interest we received in the position and truly impressed by the quality of candidates seeking to come to East Hartford. Working off of a detailed “ideal candidate profile” we selectively worked our way through multiple interview processes and are thrilled to be able to present Elsie to you! We greatly appreciate the time teachers, administrators, parents and central office staff spent with us in the interview process as we worked to finalize this important district position.
To date, Elsie has spent her entire personal and professional career with Meriden Public Schools. She was born in the United States speaking only Spanish until she attended school as an English language learner. She earned an Associate of Science degree in Human Services from Middlesex Community College, and went on to complete her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services at Springfield College. Following this, Elsie attended Cambridge College where she earned her Master of Education degree and began her career as a teacher. Ms. Torres continued her education, earning advanced degrees from Southern Connecticut State University and the University of Connecticut.
Elsie taught first and second grade at Hanover Elementary School in Meriden and was later promoted at Hanover Elementary School as an instructional associate. In 2011, she was appointed principal of John Barry Elementary School in Meriden where she was named the William Cieslukowski Outstanding First Year Principal by the Connecticut Association of Schools. During her time as principal of John Barry Elementary School, Elsie oversaw a comprehensive school turnaround effort including the implementation of an extended day, the Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative (CK3LI), improvements in climate/culture, and significant growth in academic achievement. Following this success, Elsie was promoted to the Central Office as the Supervisor of Bilingual Education and ESOL Programs amongst other important responsibilities.
Throughout the interview process, Elsie impressed us with her obvious qualifications for the job and her deep elementary experience. At every turn in her career, she was recognized as a rising star but most well known for her deep priority of “children first.” Elsie has done the work, excelled in the process and will bring an incredible wealth of knowledge, experience and talent to our team. On a character level, we were extremely attracted to her approachability, her humility and her “realness.” Elsie is a “roll up your sleeves leader” who is eager to get started working shoulder to shoulder with us on the behalf of our kids.
Enjoy the rest of your summer—I look forward to seeing you in August.
Nathan D. Quesnel
East Hartford Public Schools