WOODBURY – Dr. Anna Cutaia has been Region 14’s Superintendent of Schools for the last four years and although she left for a new job in Milford on July 31st, she will continue to help the students she came to love in Region 14 by creating a special scholarship just for them.
Cutaia plans to start a scholarship for graduates of Nonnewaug this coming spring. She will recognize a senior who demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, random acts of kindness. She wants to give back to the community by honoring a student who exhibits kindness to others.
While she continues to help after leaving, she helped the community a lot during her time at Region 14.
One of Cutaia’s main goals as superintendent was to answer the community’s call to bring back the hope and belief in Region 14 and she thinks, with the help of everyone in the community, she accomplished that goal and reignited a pride in who they were as a Region. She knows there is still work to be done, as there is in any place, but she thinks that the school community worked together to complete the goals they set for their kids and school district.
Cutaia spent the four years building relationships around the idea of putting the kids in the community first and doing whatever it took to help them. To her, being present and building relationships with the community was her greatest accomplishment and what she is most proud of.
A part of her leadership style was making it a priority to get to know the people in the community, because if you know the people you will know the work. She feels she created countless friendships with parents, staff, and a lot of students, all of whom she will miss.
She said she will continue to do this wherever she goes.
Cutaia went through the good and bad when dealing with the students and she dealt with many situations, such as school bullying, where both she and the Region did their best to improve the school environment for their students. She stands by what they have done as a Region and knows the Region and its staff will continue to further develop the environment as it moves forward.
Every leader in Region 14 tries to enhance the system as much as possible and it is than the next leader’s responsibility is to continue that enhancement, so while she believes she left the Region in better shape, she knows that the people who came before her created the foundation that she was able to build on. She simply hopes she added to the foundation for the next person to build upon.
Although she was sad to leave, she does have advice for both the new superintendent and the students.
For the new superintendent she recommends getting to know the kids in the Region, because to her, the kids are Region 14’s greatest gift, and by forming relationships with them, the new superintendent will know the community and how to lead it.
For the students she simply advises that they continue to do good, because life is always about how everyone treats each other. She wants the students to prioritise showing kindness, respect, and love, because, while the school system’s job is to develop the mind, she hopes the students take every opportunity to develop their soul and their individuality as well, and by doing this, make the world a better place.
Cutaia’s move from one Region to the next was a bit bittersweet. She compared it to students going to college. On the one hand, they are thrilled to be going to this new and amazing place, but on the other hand, as the transition nears, they are not so sure that they really want to leave home. So, while she is excited for her time at Milford, she was extremely sad to leave Region 14. She had this to say:
“I already do love both of us. I love you guys. Yeah, Region 14’s a great place. There are good people here.”
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