Mansfield Public Schools appoints new superintendent

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Kids learning at elementary school. The next superintendent, Peter Dart, is planning to focus on opening up the new Mansfield Elementary School. Photo by Rodnae Productions/Pexels

The Mansfield Public Schools Board of Education voted to select Peter Dart as the next superintendent, according to a press release from Feb. 23. Dart has served as principal of Mansfield’s Dorothy C. Goodwin Elementary since 2018.  

Effective July 1, Dart will succeed Kelly Lyman, who is retiring after serving as superintendent since 2015.  

“This is an amazing community and school district, and I’m thrilled to be able to step into the superintendent’s shoes,” Dart said. “Kelly Lyman, our current superintendent, has been a tremendous leader … and I am just proud to be able to step into that, knowing that there is a lot of work that still needs to happen.”  

Dart spent 22 years as a teacher in elementary and middle schools. He also served as a science teacher and principal of the Environmental Sciences Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut.  

Mansfield Public Schools is looking to consolidate its three elementary schools into one school by the fall. According to the press release, the school, Mansfield Elementary School, will be the first net-zero energy public school in Connecticut.  

As a former teacher and principal at an environmental science-centered school, Dart is looking forward to the net-zero elementary school’s opening.  

“The idea of opening a net-zero building, and supporting the idea that a building is a living laboratory for our students and our community to learn more about sustainability and energy, I think is truly amazing,”

Peter Dart, superintendent of Mansfield Public Schools

Kathleen Ward, the chair of the Mansfield Public Schools Board of Education, praised Dart for his contributions as part of the administration.  

“Peter has been a strong contributor to the administrative team here in Mansfield, offering deep experience in and contributing to growing our educators, one of our Core Beliefs,” Ward said. “Under his leadership, Goodwin earned School of Distinction status in 2020 for high growth and overall performance in ELA/Reading, and in 2021 U.S. News & World Report ranked Goodwin School twelfth out of 621 Connecticut elementary schools. Our school community clearly responds to his leadership.”  

When asked about his goals and expectations for the next school year, Dart said he wants to prioritize being available to listen to all students and community members.  

“I think what’s most important is, while I work in the district now, I want to pause and make sure that I’m available and connect with our families, our students and our staff to learn more about our work so that I can best move our district forward,” Dart said. “And I really think that I need to listen and learn.”  

Dart also anticipates that a great portion of his role as superintendent will be spent on opening the new elementary school.  

“All eyes are on the new elementary school,” he said. “To be honest with you, probably the most important role will be to make sure that we are best prepared to open up the new Mansfield Elementary School and celebrate not only the wonderful building, but [to] make sure that every child, and family and staff member feels connected and supported and ready.”

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