Milford’s Heron Pond school has a new principal

MILFORD – Chantal Alcox hasn’t been a classroom teacher for several years, but that’s how the new principal of Heron Pond elementary school thinks of herself.

Alcox is the school’s assistant principal and she was recently promoted to replace Peter Bonaccorsi, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

“I’ve always believed that the classroom teacher has the greatest impact on student achievement,” she said in a phone interview Monday. “I always describe myself as a teacher first.

“One of my most important jobs is instructional leader … getting everyone to work on the same goals” and “to create a school culture in which there are not too many initiatives that can confuse things” and “not a lot of student drama” that can get in the way of learning.

Alcox has spent her 24-year education career in Milford schools, first as a student teacher, then as a teacher and then as the elementary school’s Title 1 director. Then came four years as Bonaccorsi’s assistant.

During an interview in her office last week, Alcox said she is excited as well as comfortable taking over the principal’s office.

Children who were second graders when she became assistant principal are now fifth graders, and Alcox said she knows all 825 children in the 2-5 grade school.

Superintendent Robert Suprenant, who recommended her to the school board, described her as “an energetic, creative, and exceptionally qualified school administrator who has an outstanding knowledge of the Milford community and Milford educational system.”

Alcox will begin her new duties when Bonaccorsi retires on July 1.

He called her “a fabulous choice” for principal. “She has worked her way up through the systems and knows all the ins and outs.”

Alcox said she is grateful to all the people who taught her along the way – students, teachers and colleagues.

“I’ve been really fortunate to have that kind of support,” she said.

She holds a master’s degree in special education and is certified as a teacher, reading specialist, and principal.

Alcox and her husband, Dave, a teacher at Milford High School and longtime coach of the school’s We the People Constitution team, live in Milford with their daughter Amanda, a student at Milford High.