Tonight, the Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education appointed Dr. Jason McKinnon as their next superintendent of schools.

Dr. McKinnon, currently the superintendent of schools in Oxford, was selected from a highly qualified pool of 20 applicants. He holds a doctoral degree in instructional leadership from Western Connecticut State University and is an alumnus of its Advanced Superintendent Program. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Flinders University in his native Australia.

The Search Steering Committee, under the direction of co-chairs Maureen Williams and Cheryl Graziano, worked throughout the summer to solicit community input and design a thorough process to select an exceptional school leader. The Steering Committee reviewed every application packet, held initial interviews with six candidates, and was joined by the full boards for comprehensive call back interviews with three finalists.

Graziano said the the new superintendent is “an enthusiastic leader who will collaborate with our ER9 teams and the Redding and Easton communities to promote a welcoming and supportive learning environment where our students can grow and succeed.”

Dr. McKinnon assumes the helm following the resignation of Dr. Rydell Harrison, who resigned in June after serving less than a year in the position. Dr. Harrison was appointed following the retirement of Dr. Thomas McMorran in August 2020. Dr. McMorran is currently serving as interim superintendent.

Prior to being named superintendent in Oxford in 2019, Dr. McKinnon served as assistant superintendent in New Fairfield for five years, and principal of Branchville Elementary School in Ridgefield for 10 years. He began his teaching career as a special education teacher in Westport. His student teaching experience was at Redding Elementary School.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. McKinnon join our community,” said Williams. “We are absolutely confident in his capacities as an educator and as an administrator. We believe he is unquestionably the person to lead us forward and look forward to watching him blaze a trail for students and faculty.”

Of his appointment, Dr. McKinnon said, “I am deeply honored to have been selected as the new superintendent of the Easton, Redding and Region 9 School Districts. I look forward to meeting students and working collaboratively with the school boards, staff, families and school communities. The ER9 school districts have a reputation for educational excellence and together we can continue this mission.”

Region 9 Chairperson Todd Johnston said, “We look forward to starting the school year with Dr. McKinnon and welcoming him back to ER9. His educational experiences and leadership will be an asset as the districts come out of the pandemic and close the educational gap it created.”

Reflecting on the path forward for the districts, Easton Chairperson Jon Stinson said, “Years ago we came together around a vision of education with three elements at its core: academic excellence, strong community, and future ready learners. After the last 18 months, we’re more convinced than ever that this is the way forward, and we’re confident that Dr. McKinnon is ready to take us there.”

Redding Chairperson Chris Parkin shared his colleagues’ enthusiasm, “Dr. McKinnon’s collaborative approach will help develop our many new building leaders and position our districts for continued success. We look forward to a long successful partnership.”

Dr. McKinnon’s official start date is being negotiated. The boards were assisted by Dr. Joseph Erardi of JE Consulting in the search.

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