Janet Garagliano
Posted 12/26/2017 12:26PM

Remembering our friend, colleague and CAPSS' staff member, Janet Garagliano

CAPSS is saddened to report that our friend and colleague, Janet Garagliano, recently passed away after a short illness. Janet worked at CAPSS from 2012 to 2017. Janet worked as a staff associate and a member of the CAPSS leadership team focused on professional learning and implementing the NEXTED Report recommendations.

Janet was responsible for coordinating the work on improving high school graduation outcomes between CAPSS, the Connecticut Department of Education and the New England Secondary School Consortium.  In Connecticut, Janet was responsible for implementing the League of Innovative Schools and their professional learning. With the release of the NEXTED report, Janet initiated the collaboration between the League of Innovative Schools and CAPSS. She continued as the Connecticut liaison for the league from 2012 to 2017. As the League’s work focused on personalized mastery-based learning, Janet coordinated a series of a professional learning experiences each year to expand member high school leadership teams’ understanding of the work required so that all students graduated college and career ready. The League membership increased from six high schools to over 30 high schools under her leadership.

As part of her responsibility with CAPSS for professional learning, Janet was involved in many institutes and conferences.  Janet designed and implemented the Community of Practice Institute for Superintendents on Student Centered Learning.  Working with Michael Fullan and Joanne Quinn, Janet was involved in the planning and implementation of the two Coherence Institutes sponsored by CAPSS.

In CAPSS’ two reports during her tenure, Janet coordinated the work of writers with the advisory committees that were guiding the content of the reports. The report, A Look to the Future: Personalized Learning in Connecticut, was a collaboration between CAPSS, CABE and CAS. Janet’s skills at bringing together multiple agencies, the research and practical outcomes were critical to the success of that report. She also partnered in the development of NEXTED: NEXT STEPS – A Vision and a Plan for Transforming Connecticut’s Education System. Janet’s contributions to these reports and other newsletters and documents contributed significantly to the progress made on educational transformation of Connecticut schools.

The student voices contest was an important element in the work that Janet contributed to CAPSS’ educational transformation work. The contest involved asking middle and high school students to produce a two- to five-minute video on their vision of the changes needed in education to ensure that all students graduated college and career ready. For three years, Janet guided this initiative, designed to bring student voices into the discussion of the changes needed to transform Connecticut’s education system. The videos of the award winners each year were displayed at major conferences and events. The videos were shared with the Connecticut State Board of Education by the student creators and prompted important discussion at the meeting.

Janet’s education career spanned many roles.  She began as a teacher of social studies at Hamden High School.  She progressed to department chairperson and then Associate Principal for Academics in Hamden. She went on to be principal of Wamogo High School in Litchfield.  In 2005, Janet was appointed principal of Jonathan Law High School in Milford through her retirement in 2011.  In retirement, Janet worked briefly at CAS before joining the CAPSS staff in 2012.  Janet joined the staff at CAPSS to work on professional learning and student-centered learning. 

Janet was born in 1947 to Angelo and Nettie Mariani Garagliano.  She lived in Groton until attending Albertus Magnus College. She is survived by two brothers.

Two excerpts from colleagues writing about Janet capture her personality well:

“During one of her final years as principal at Law, Garagliano left seniors with a special life message at their graduation ceremony, advising them to choose wisely as they moved forward in life.  “Right now, the only limits to the possibilities that await you come from your own doubts and fears,” Garagliano said during the ceremony. “Banish those doubts. Take hold of those fears and choose, over and over again, that which is right for you and those you love.”  She told them to choose love, true friends, learning, kindness, happiness and health.”       ~ Excerpted from the Milford Mirror

“Janet will be remembered fondly by anyone fortunate enough to collaborate with her. Ever enthusiastic, Janet was a tireless champion for children. She was a leading voice for promoting personalization and mastery-based learning in Connecticut. She encouraged schools to join the League of Innovative Schools and – in the most supportive way – helped challenge their assumptions and engage in new strategies. She believed deeply in the work of the New England Secondary School Consortium and the capacity of her colleagues in the state and across the region to press forward with difficult changes.”       ~ Excerpted from the memoriam on the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) website.

At CAPSS, we will miss her friendship, her insights and her enthusiasm.  Education has lost an untiring advocate for children.

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