Cooley ready to get going as superintendent

·2 min read

Jun. 24—NORWALK — It was a typical day for Norwalk High School Principal Brad Cooley.

Sort of.

He spent the day helping plant a tree on the school grounds in honor of Alli Jo Kurdinat, an NHS student who was killed on May 21 in a car accident.

And Cooley had the blister on his hand to prove it.

He then took part in a ceremony Wednesday evening with friends and family of Alli Jo to dedicate the tree near the band practice fields at the school.

And this was all after being named new superintendent of the Norwalk City Schools.

It's nothing new for Cooley, who is single, who earlier in the week said he works two shifts a day as principal.

Does that mean he will work three shifts as superintendent?

"We'll see," Cooley said with a laugh. "Sometimes it is a third shift ... that is when you are prepping for stuff that people don't see."

One of the first things Cooley will have to do is find his replacement as high school principal. He has held that job since 2009 and called the building "my baby" when he interviewed for the superintendent position Monday night.

"I have been here a long time ... that is a pretty, pretty sight," he said. "Not having kids around you is a big change."

Cooley said there are a lot of decisions will have to be made. But other than his high school principal position and replacing Molly Wetherill, coordinator of the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center, most the other positions are in place following Tuesday's school board meeting.

A big issue in the future will be a new elementary school building, and one of the ideas is putting it across the street from the high school on Shady Lane.

"We're not locked in," Cooley said about the site. "There is a lot of push to make that (a new school) happen. The good thing is I think we can do that without increasing the tax on the people."

If the new school was located across from the high school it would make the campus "one soccer field away from connecting them all."

Cooley, who has been with the school system since 2002, will officially take over for George Fisk on July 1.

Fisk resigned earlier this year to take the same position at Coventry Local Schools in Akron.

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