RIDGEFIELD, CONN. -- Kim Hapken plans to hit the ground running when she takes over as the Ridgefield public schools new assistant superintendent for special services this fall.
The longtime educator wrote in a letter this week that she will spend the summer meeting with parents, staff, students, district leaders and members of the community “to ensure a smooth start to the new school year.”
Hapken was appointed to the post in June by a unanimous vote of the Board of Education.
According to Schools Superintendent Karen Baldwin, the Southbury resident 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 after the appointment was made.
Hapken introduced herself to the Ridgefield community in a July 20 letter in which she refers to her 10 years as director of special services in Bristol and her experience as a speech-language pathologist in the private section and in public schools.
She said that her “passion” as an educator has always been helping children “on the autism spectrum”
Hapken said she plans to continue the district’s “strong educational practices” and to focus on expanding opportunities for children to become “caring, capable and contributing citizens ready to face the challenges of the 21st Century.”
One of her goals, Hapken wrote, is to hold formal and informal conversations about goals with everyone in the education community, including students.
She also consults for several state Department of Education committees.
Hapken is a professor of educational leadership at Central Connecticut State University, where she got a degree in educational leadership and administration.
She also studied speech pathology at Illinois State and the University of Connecticut.