This is a small selection of UCAPP and ELP alumni. They have either recently begun new leadership positions or received recognition for their leadership. 

Miguel Cardona

Miguel Cardona ’01 MA, ’04 UCAPP, ’11 Ed.D., ’12 ELP

Dr. Miguel A. Cardona was sworn in as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Education on March 2, 2021. Secretary Cardona is one of three children, whose grandparents moved from Puerto Rico in the 1960s for better opportunities in the mainland United States. That experience, and his bicultural upbringing, have helped shape Secretary Cardona's passion to serve all students and improve their opportunities for success. Secretary Cardona's focus throughout his career on raising the bar for equity and excellence in education for all learners guides his leadership of the U.S. Department of Education in service of the nation's 65 million students, ranging from prekindergarten to adult learners, and their families.

Secretary Cardona has two decades of experience as a public school educator from Meriden, Connecticut, the same school system he attended as a child. He began his career as an elementary school teacher and went on to serve as an elementary school principal. Following that role, Secretary Cardona led performance and evaluation efforts for  Meriden Public Schools and became assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. Secretary Cardona is the recipient of the 2012 National Distinguished Principal Award for the State of Connecticut and the Outstanding Administrator Award from the University of Connecticut's Neag School of Education.

Secretary Cardona earned a bachelor's degree from Central Connecticut State University, a master's degree, two additional advanced leadership certifications (UCAPP and ELP), and a doctoral degree from UConn's Neag School of Education.

Alan Addley

Alan Addley ’07 ELP, ’14 Ed.D.

Addley is the superintendent of Darien Public Schools. He was named the state’s Superintendent of the Year in 2019 and recognized by the Neag School's Alumni Board as Outstanding School Superintendent in 2017, all when he was superintendent of Granby Public Schools. A native of Northern Ireland, Addley started his career as a professional soccer player and mathematics teacher. He has 34 years of administrative and teaching experience in private and public schools in the United States and Ireland. Addley completed a Connecticut Superintendent Certificate through the Executive Leadership Program in 2007 and earned his Ed.D. in 2014, both at the Neag School.

Steven Autieri

Steven Autieri ’21 ELP

Autieri is the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning for Milford Public Schools. Autieri has been a professional educator for 13 years, with experience at every level of educational practice in progressively responsible roles: teacher, science curriculum leader, and district-level administrator. Autieri earning his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Keene State College in New Hampshire and a Master of Science degree in cell and molecular biology from the University of Rhode Island. After discovering his love of teaching, he earned a master's degree in education in curriculum and instruction from Fairfield University. He received his 6th year certificate (092) in educational leadership from Southern Connecticut University, followed by a CT superintendency certificate in executive leadership (093) from UConn's Neag School of Education. Autieri anticipates the completion of his doctorate in education in 2024, also from UConn.

Tracy Avicolli

Tracy Avicolli ’22 ELP

Avicolli is the Director of the Arts & Wellness for Hartford Public Schools.

Michael Bernardi

Michael Bernardi ’96 (ED), ’00 MA, ’06 UCAPP, ’22 ELP

Bernardi is the principal of Rochambeau Middle School in Connecticut's Region School District 15.

Patrick Cone

Patrick Cone ’15 UCAPP

Cone is the principal of A.W. Hanmer Elementary School in Wethersfield. In 2020-2021, Cone was recognized with the First-Year Principal Award from the Connecticut Association of Schools.

Paul Freeman

Paul Freeman ’09 Ed.D.

Freeman has been a Connecticut educator for more than 20 years. He has been the Superintendent of Schools in Guilford since 2011. Before Guilford, Freeman served as the Superintendent of the Griswold Public Schools, and prior to that he worked as an assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent in the East Lyme School system. He began his career in education as a teacher of English Language Arts at the middle and high school levels in the Amity School system. He received the 2014 Outstanding Superintendent Award from the UConn Neag School of Education and was named the state’s Superintendent of the Year in 2020. He earned his bachelor's degree at Keene State University in New Hampshire, completed his master's and sixth-year degrees at Southern Connecticut State University, and completed his doctoral studies at UConn.

Jody Goeler

Jody Goeler ’07 ELP

Goeler is currently a senior policy associate at the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. He retired as superintendent of Hamden Public Schools in 2022 after eight years leading the district. That same year, he was recognized by the Neag School's Alumni Board with its Outstanding School Superintendent Award. Prior to that, Goeler served as superintendent for Regional School District 14, which is based in Woodbury. Earlier in his career he spent time as a teacher, president of the Avon Education Association, an assistant principal, and an assistant superintendent. He graduated from State University of New York at Fredonia, where he received his bachelor’s degree in English and Language Arts with a focus in secondary education. He’s also received degrees from the University of Hartford and Wesleyan University.

Donna Hayward

Donna Hayward ’98 UCAPP, ’10 ELP

Hayward has been the principal of Haddam-Killingworth High School in Higganum, Connecticut, for the past nine years. In November 2022, she was named the 2023 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary Principals. Hayward earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees from Smith College before enrolling in the Neag School's UCAPP program and earning her sixth-year certificate. She started as an assistant principal at Rocky Hill High School and was later promoted to principal. She also served as principal at Suffield High School before taking the principal position at Haddam-Killingworth High School. Hayward was Connecticut’s Assistant Principal of the Year in 2006 and served as president of the Connecticut Association of Schools. Through her leadership, Haddam-Killingworth High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2018 and she was named Connecticut’s Principal of the Year in 2022.

Scott Hurwitz

Scott Hurwitz ’06 ED, ’07 MA, ’19 Ed.D., ’21 ELP

Hurwitz is the assistant superintendent of finance and operations for Farmington Public Schools.

Joe Macary

Joe Macary '05 ELP, '16 Ed.D.

Macary earned a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) in 2016 and a certificate in Executive Leadership Program (ELP) for superintendency in 2005 from UConn’s Neag School of Education. He also has a bachelor’s degree in political science from UConn, with a concentration in economics. Macary has been the superintendent for Vernon Public Schools in Vernon, Connecticut, since 2015. In his superintendent role, Macary serves as the chief executive officer, advocating for students’ academic, social, and emotional growth and development while focusing on student learning and achievement. Macary was named the 2023 Outstanding School Superintendent by the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education Alumni Board in March 2023 and the 2024 Connecticut Superintendent of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.

Madeline Negrón

Madeline Negrón ’98 MA, ’12 Ph.D., ’15 ELP

Negrón became superintendent of New Haven Public Schools in July 2023. She has spent her professional career as an educator in Connecticut urban environments rich with cultural and linguistic diversity. Most recently, she was acting deputy superintendent of academics and school leadership for the Hartford Public Schools; she had previously served as chief of academics, teaching, learning and student supports. Negrón began her career as a bilingual education teacher and has worked as an assistant principal, principal, central office administrator and as a senior executive level administrator. Negrón is proud to be a first-generation college graduate; she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish from Central Connecticut State University, a Master of Arts degree in Education with a minor in Bilingual Bicultural Education and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from UConn's Neag School of Education.

Theresa Rangel

Theresa Rangel ’21 ELP

Rangel was appointed as West Hartford Public Schools’ executive director of Equity Advancement in September 2023. She previously served as the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for Naugatuck Public Schools and has nine years of building and curriculum leadership in the Norwalk Public Schools, Newington Public Schools, and Danbury Public Schools. She began her career in Danbury Public Schools, as an elementary school teacher. Rangel is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary and Spanish education and a master’s degree in instructional technology from Western Connecticut State University, as well as a master’s in education administration from Sacred Heart University.

Shawn Simpson

Shawn Simpson ’22 ELP

Simpson is superintendent of Wolcott Public Schools. Simpson has spent his entire education career in Wolcott’s public schools, including three years as an assistant superintendent and then interim superintendent before being named superintendent in August 2022. Before his district-level positions, Simpson was principal of Alcott Elementary School for four years and assistant principal at Tyrrell Middle School for five years. He began his career as a school counselor and also coached basketball and track and field. Simpson earned a Bachelor's in Social Rehabilitation Services from
Assumption College and a Master of Education in Psychology from Springfield College. He is a graduate of the UConn Neag School of Education's Executive Leadership Program.

Kristina Wallace

Kristina Wallace ’09 (CLAS), ’12 MA, ’17 UCAPP

Wallace is the principal of Avon Middle School, where she previously served as assistant principal. She began her career as a school counselor at Watertown High School. In 2014, she transitioned to the role of school counselor at Windsor High School where she was named the Lead Counselor in 2017. She was recognized as Windsor Public Schools’ Educator of the Year in 2017, and the Connecticut School Counseling Association School Counselor of the Year in 2018. In summer 2018, she was named associate principal of Naugatuck High School before joining Avon Public Schools in 2019. Wallace earned two bachelor's degrees from UConn before earning her Masters of Arts in Educational Psychology. She later completed UConn's Administrator Preparation Program, earning her sixth-year certificate.