On April 30, 2021, LEARN announced that its Executive Committee of the Board of Directors appointed JT Foster as principal of the Connecticut River Academy (CTRA). Foster, of North Haven, has been interim principal at CTRA since July 1, 2020; prior to that, he had been assistant principal at the school.
As principal, Foster will continue to lead the school with a growing academic profile and program. The same week as Foster’s appointment, Magnet Schools of America named CTRA one of the top 20 Magnet Schools of Excellence, recognizing the school’s commitment to high academic standards, school diversity, specialized curricula and instruction, family engagement, and community partnerships.
Foster said that as principal, he will focus on equity and ensure that each scholar gets what they need to be successful. “My goal is to continue creating systems and processes that support each and every scholar, especially after this difficult year.” Foster continued, “While we all do not look the same or come from the same backgrounds, we are all allies in each other’s success.”
LEARN executive director Kate Ericson said Foster is well prepared for this leadership position and she could not be happier about the decision. Goodwin University president Mark Scheinberg agreed that Foster was the right choice for the school. “We are excited to see JT officially assume this role,” Scheinberg said. “His leadership at the high school level, coupled with his teaching experience at the University, will enable him to build even stronger educational pathways for CTRA scholars.”
Foster has spent most of his educational career with LEARN and Goodwin University. He was hired as an English teacher at CTRA in 2011 and was an adjunct professor at Goodwin University in 2012. In 2014-15, he was named LEARN’s Teacher of Year. Upon his promotion to assistant principal in 2015, Foster dedicated himself to establishing positive relationships with students and families, as well as implementing restorative behavior practices. Under his guidance, student suspensions were reduced by half in his first year and continued to decrease in each subsequent year. Additionally, he is deeply involved in school/student/family communications, establishing intervention plans, and supporting and training teachers.
Foster earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature from Gordon College in Massachusetts. He earned a master’s degree in education from the University of New Haven and his 6th year certificate in educational leadership from Sacred Heart University.
CTRA is located on Goodwin University’s Riverside Campus. The school’s sustainability theme combines studies in environmental science and advanced manufacturing. Students learn about environmental and social issues such as climate change and green energy in the school’s state-of-the-art laboratories and on its own research vessel that brings science classes directly out on the Connecticut River. Students also explore how current developments in technology are shaping the future of our planet with advanced manufacturing.
LEARN, a Regional Educational Service Center (RESC), administers the magnet high school in cooperation with Goodwin University, with the university having ultimate oversight of their campus inter-district magnet school operations.
To learn more about the magnet schools at Goodwin University, visit www.goodwin.edu/magnet-schools.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.