leadership team at Connecticut river academy and riverside magnet school

Goodwin University Magnet School System Fills Key Leadership Roles

Goodwin University and LEARN, a regional educational service center based in Old Lyme, Connecticut, have announced the appointment of Sarah Burke of Manchester as Assistant Superintendent of Special Education, Jessica Gomez-Bedosky of Woodbury as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and Christine Pemberton of New London as Director of Human Resource and Talent for the Goodwin University Magnet School System, effective July 1, 2023.

“We are excited to have these exceptional leaders join the Goodwin University Magnet School System to further our mission of breaking down barriers while celebrating the many talents within our community through partnerships with students, families, educators, and industry leaders to provide a dynamic and innovated learning environment,” said Dr. Salvatore Menzo, Superintendent for Goodwin University Magnet School System.

“As these fine leaders begin to take over the reins of Riverside Magnet School and Connecticut River Academy, we are confident in their future success and excited for the students and families who will benefit from that success,” said Kate Ericson, LEARN’s Executive Director.

“I look forward to utilizing my skills and experience to enhance, develop, and provide quality programming for students who receive supports and services. I am excited to work collaboratively with staff, families, and sending districts on behalf of students,” said Sarah Burke.

Ms. Burke holds a BA in Interpersonal Communications and Rhetoric from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and an MA in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences from the University of Connecticut. She completed her post-graduate coursework for certification in Educational Leadership at Central Connecticut State University.

She began her career in education as a certified speech-language pathologist with Bolton Public Schools. She served as the clinical coordinator for Speech, Language, and Audiological Services at the American School for the Deaf before returning to direct service as a preschool and elementary speech-language pathologist at Manchester Public Schools. While with Manchester Public Schools, she was Supervisor of Pupil Services at the secondary level, before being promoted to Director of Pupil Services.

Jessica Gomez-Bedosky joins Goodwin University Magnet School System from Thomaston Public Schools after serving three years as Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. As Director, she led the district curriculum development process, established best practices in instruction, and coordinated all district and state assessments. Ms. Gomez-Bedosky created and implemented an enrichment program, LEAP for grades 4-6, where students participated in civics, science, and math-related yearlong projects. Recently, they presented a bill that passed through Congress. Before Thomaston, she taught Math for 15 years in various capacities in Ansonia and was the Math and Science Specialist for two years at Ansonia Middle School.

“We are excited to have Ms. Gomez-Bedosky lead our curriculum and instruction efforts. As a passionate bilingual leader, who believes that all students can be successful when provided the right resources, she will collaborate with families and staff to further our efforts to provide innovative and diverse programming that reflects immerging industries,” said Menzo.

“I am super excited to join the Goodwin University Magnet Schools and return to urban education. My greatest asset is my experience as a teacher, and I hope to share those skills and passion with the current Goodwin University Magnet School System staff. High expectations, student engagement, and the love for our students is what makes education work; it is truly the ‘great equalizer,’ as Horace Mann states. My hope for all students is that we encourage them to reach their full potential and that they leave school knowing we genuinely care for them.

Christine Pemberton brings more than 17 years of leadership experience to her new role as Director of HR and Talent. Most recently, she served as Chief Human Resources Officer at LEARN for nearly three years. Additionally, Ms. Pemberton led personnel as the Director of Finance and Operations at the Interdistrict School for Arts in Communication, a Connecticut charter school. In addition, she served as Director of Human Resources at The Arc New London County.

“As we establish ourselves as a standalone local education agency, we are fortunate to have Ms. Pemberton join Goodwin University Magnet School System during this crucial time. In her prior role, she served as an exceptional HR education partner, and we look forward to leveraging her experiences to support our growing team,” said Menzo.

Ms. Pemberton earned her bachelor’s degree from Excelsior College and a Juris master’s degree from Liberty University. Currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Liberty University, she is committed to enhancing her skills and knowledge in human resources. Ms. Pemberton is an active member of the CSDE-RESC Alliance Increasing Educator Diversity Committee, where she works with other professionals to improve diversity and inclusion in the education sector.

“As the new Director of HR and Talent, I am committed to developing and implementing effective HR strategies that attract and retain top talent while fostering a positive and inclusive work environment. I will work closely with the central office and the school leadership team to align HR practices with the school’s overall goals and objectives,” Ms. Pemberton said.