RIDGEFIELD, CONN. -- Ridgefield’s public schools have a new assistant superintendent for special services.
Kim Hapken was officially appointed to the post Monday by a unanimous vote of the Board of Education.
According to Superintendent Karen Baldwin, Hapken is a 16-year veteran of the Bristol public school system.
Among other things, Hapken was chosen for her “warmth and approachability” and her “deep experience in teaming with children and families,” Baldwin said Tuesday.
Baldwin said Hapken impressed the search committee and the school board with her “depth of understanding about best practices and her innovative strategies to meet the needs of all learners.”
In Bristol, Hapken led the way on instructional data team models and revised the preschool curriculum framework.
She also worked with school counseling departments to implement “Student Success Plans” and revise the developmental guidance curriculum, the superintendent said.
Baldwin also praised Hapken’s leadership abilities.
She expanded Bristol's in-district autism program and helped increase the mainstreaming of special education students.
Hapken also worked on a major overhaul of Bristol's middle school program and led middle and high school staffers in the alignment of teaching and learning expectations.
The Southbury resident consults for several state Department of Education committees and is a professor of educational leadership at her alma mater, Central Connecticut State University.
Hapken, who is currently Bristol’s director of special education, studied educational leadership and administration at CCSU.
"I'm excited and honored to welcome Dr. Hapken to our Ridgefield community," Baldwin said. "She has the talent, passion and commitment to hit the ground learning and have a positive impact on us all."