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Superintendent Search

District Communication - April 2, 2019

Suffield Board Appoints Timothy M. Van Tasel As Superintendent of Schools

The Suffield Board of Education has selected Timothy M. Van Tasel to be the new Superintendent of the Suffield Public Schools. Mr. Van Tasel is currently Superintendent of Schools in Hebron, CT. He has been a Connecticut educator for 20 years.

Twenty-three candidates applied for the Suffield position. Mr. Van Tasel emerged as the unanimous choice based on his knowledge, experience and potential for success in leading the Suffield Schools. The Board was particularly drawn to his accomplishments in establishing positive relationships with parents, community members and staff. He received high praise from his references for innovation, communication and his ability to inspire and empower staff in quest of continuous improvement.

The selection process included the input of over 400 parents, staff and community members. Their contributions led to the creation of a candidate profile that the Board of Education used to guide the selection of the superintendent. The new superintendent was selected after review of all applications and supporting materials, several rounds of interviews, reference and credential checks. The final event in the search process was a visit to the Suffield community by Mr. Van Tasel.

Mr. Van Tasel’s education career began as an elementary teacher in West Hartford. It continued in Enfield where he served as both an elementary and middle school principal. He then provided leadership to the East Hampton Public Schools as Assistant Superintendent. His service as Superintendent of Schools in Hebron began in 2015.

The new superintendent received a Bachelor’s degree from Westfield (MA) State College, a Master of Public Administration degree from American International College (Springfield MA), a Master of Education from Cambridge College, and a Sixth-Year Diploma in Educational Administration and his Superintendent Certification Program from the University of Connecticut. He is currently a doctoral program candidate at UCONN.

Superintendent-elect Van Tasel stated, “I would like to thank the Board of Education for the opportunity to serve the community of Suffield as its Superintendent of Schools. I am honored and humbled by this appointment, and I look forward to working in partnership with the school district and community as we look to the future. There is tremendous promise in every school district and its surrounding community, and I am inspired by what I have already learned about the collective vision for the future.”

Board of Education Chair Susan Mercik Davis stated the following, “The Suffield Public School Board of Education is very excited to announce Timothy Van Tasel as our new Superintendent. The quantity and quality of the candidates was impressive; however, Mr. Van Tasel stood out from the beginning of the search process. Mr. Van Tasel has extensive leadership experience, an intrinsic ability to develop collaborative relationships in a kind and thoughtful manner and is a believer in a student-focused philosophy that will ensure our district continues its pursuit of excellence in education while providing our students with a high quality and well-rounded education. During the rigorous interview process, Mr. Van Tasel presented himself in a manner that exuded professionalism and confidence yet revealed a calm demeanor and an authentic desire to connect with all stakeholders within the district and Suffield community. He conveys a forward thinking approach to leadership and has proven success as a superintendent. The Suffield Board of Education is looking forward to working with Mr. Van Tasel in collaboration with our strong SPS leadership team as we strive to improve education for all of our students.”

Mr. Van Tasel will begin his duties as Superintendent of Schools on July 1, 2019.

The New England School Development Council (NESDEC) of Marlborough, MA assisted the Suffield Board with the search process. Dr. Elizabeth Osga, a senior associate with NESDEC, served as the search consultant.

District Communication - March 5, 2019

On February 14, Dr. Elizabeth Osga, a consultant from New England School Development Council (NESDEC) facilitated focus group meetings, representing parents, community members, administrators, faculty and staff and conducted multiple individual interviews of key stakeholders. In addition, an online survey containing the same questions was made available. Over 400 individuals participated in the process. The information gathered through this outreach process was used as the basis to detail the qualities, characteristics, skills, knowledge and experience desired in a new Superintendent of Schools and to identify the pressing challenges ahead of him or her.

The Suffield Board of Education subsequently reviewed and analyzed all of the input collected. This information was used to develop the Successful Candidate Profile. The Successful Candidate Profile will be used to guide the interview and selection process for the search for our new Superintendent.

The Suffield Board of Education wishes to thank all those in the community and schools who took the time to participate in the community needs assessment process. The Board looks forward to using the valuable insights gained through the needs assessment as candidates are considered for the position of Superintendent of Schools.

Successful Candidate Profile and Community Needs Assessment Report - PDF

District Communication - January 29, 2019

On Thursday, February 14, 2019, Dr. Elizabeth Osga, the NESDEC search consultant, will be in district to conduct focus groups and meet with various stakeholders to receive feedback on the qualities and characteristics stakeholders would like in the next Superintendent of Suffield Public Schools.

A focus group for faculty and staff is scheduled from 3:45-5:15 p.m. in the Suffield High School Media Center. All are encouraged to attend!

A focus group for parents and community members is scheduled from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the Suffield High School Media Center. All are encouraged to attend!

District Communication - January 22, 2019

An online survey is now available for staff, parents and community input to share their thoughts for the superintendent search.

Please access the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3H7QDFZ. The survey will be open from January 22 through February 1, 2019.

All comments from the online survey are considered anonymous and will be organized by the New England School Development Council (NESDEC) by group (administrators, staff, parents, community members, students, etc.).

The responses will be provided to the Board of Education as part of a community needs assessment report which will also include focus group feedback. This community needs assessment will be used to inform the Successful Candidate Profile.

The Suffield Board of Education appreciates the public’s involvement in the Superintendent Search process and looks forward to hearing from all stakeholders.

District Communication - January 15, 2019

The search for a new Suffield Superintendent is underway. The position has been posted on various trade sites and has been distributed to individuals, agencies and districts throughout Connecticut, New England and beyond. Direct outreach to potential candidates is being facilitated by the New England School Development Council (NESDEC) search consultant.

A staff and community survey will be available online from Tuesday, January 22 through Friday, February 1. All contributions to the online survey are considered anonymous and will be organized by NESDEC by group (administrators, staff, parents, community members, students, etc.).

A link to this survey will be sent to all stakeholders via our electronic communication system the morning of Tuesday, January 22. The link will also be available on the district’s website.

In addition, focus groups to gain additional stakeholder input will be conducted on Thursday, February 14. Information on how to participate in these opportunities will be forthcoming.

The responses from both the survey and the focus groups will be provided to the Board of Education in a Community Needs Assessment Report, which will be used to inform the Successful Candidate Profile.

Should you know someone interested in the position, please refer them to:

Dr. Elizabeth Osga
Suffield Superintendent Search
28 Lord Road
Marlborough, MA 01752
Phone: 508-481-9444
Email: search@nesdec.org

NESDEC Recruitment Letter - January 10, 2019



The Suffield Board of Education is eager to welcome and support a talented and committed leader as its next Superintendent of Schools.

The district and community have many features that create conditions for educational success. Suffield is a small community (population-approximately 16,000), which enables people to be known and connected. It has four well-maintained schools that are in close proximity: A. Ward Spaulding School (PK-2); McAlister Intermediate School (3-5); Suffield Middle School (6-8); and Suffield High School (9-12). The district and community enjoy good economic health, there is pride in an excellent staff, and parents are invested in their children’s education.

The position offers a visionary leader the opportunity to inspire and build relationships necessary to unite and move the district forward on a strategic and well-planned path. A strong focus on instructional leadership will be key in addressing priorities related to improved curriculum and assessment programs and special education.

The successful candidate will have a proven record of success in multiple positions and be able to show demonstrated results. Good communication, transparency and team building talents are all essential qualities for Suffield’s next superintendent.

The Suffield Board of Education stands ready to offer a competitive compensation package that will attract and retain a high quality superintendent.

The application deadline is February 20, 2019. Applications received after the deadline may be considered at the discretion of the Board. The expected start date for the new superintendent is on or before July 1, 2019.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Elizabeth Osga
Suffield Superintendent Search
28 Lord Road
Marlborough, MA 01752
Phone: 508-481-9444
Email: search@nesdec.org

To access the application, please visit www.nesdec.org and click on the Executive Search tab


Board of Education Communication - January 7, 2019

The Suffield Board of Education has begun the search for a new superintendent. The Board has engaged the services of the New England School Development Council (NESDEC) to facilitate the search process. The process is expected to take approximately 120 days, with the intent of a new superintendent assuming the role on or before July 1, 2019. Dr. Elizabeth Osga, a retired CT Public School Superintendent, is serving as the NESDEC Search Consultant.

The Board will serve as the executive search committee. It will invite stakeholders to participate in the search process through a combination of focus groups, surveys and interviews. Please watch for notices on these opportunities which will take place in February.

The search process will have three phases:

  • The initial phase will include a call for candidates and the development of an ideal candidate profile.
  • The second phase will engage the search committee in application reviews and interviews.
  • The last phase will focus on ensuring that the final candidate is thoroughly vetted and is a sound match for the district.

Suffield Public Schools 350 Mountain Road, Suffield, CT 06078
Central Office Phone: 860-668-3800 | Central Office Fax: 860-668-3805 |   Site Map

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