Ray Southland is the next principal at .
Currently the assistant principal at the school, School Superintendent has announced Southland will take over for Rob Montemurro, who will become principal at in the fall.
Born and raised in Meriden and a product of the Meriden school system, Southland told the school board, “I’m happy to be back in Meriden where I belong.”
Southland has been at Washington since 2010. Before that, he was assistant principal at Cromwell High School for five years.
In thanking the superintendent and the school board for selecting him for the post, he said, “You know I’ll do a great job for the kids of Meriden because I was one of them.”
The class of ’79 Maloney High graduate didn’t start out in education. He got an accounting degree and worked in business for 10 years before deciding to switch professions.
“I bring a different perspective,” Southland said. “I’ve been out there. I know how the real world is.”
After earning his teaching degree from Central Connecticut State University, he taught business and marketing at Platt for five years under Tim Gaffney, who “built a nice family there,” Southland said.
It was at Platt that Southland first worked with Rob Montemurro, whom he publicly thanked for his guidance.
Southland also served as athletic director at Maloney High School. His sport of choice is wrestling. After wrestling himself in high school, he coached in college and has officiated the sport for many years.
“To be in Meriden, the place where I grew up, I’m tickled pink,” Southland said. “The superintendent and the president of the school board are doing great things here. It’s the best place to work in the state,” he said.
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Southland represents the latest piece to be snapped into place in the giant jigsaw puzzle depicting Meriden school administrators. This year, five school principal positions have changed hands in the district, several of them filled by shifting administrators among the schools.
The plethora of changes was precipitated by the impending retirement of two elementary school principals, at Casimir Pulaski and Nathan Hale schools, and the retirement of the director of pupil personnel services, who is being replaced by Platt Principal Donna Mik.