Carla Armistead

After serving as principal of Eli Whitney Elementary School (EWES) for four years, the
superintendent of Stratford Public Schools requested that Carla Armistead make a move to
Chapel Street Elementary (CSE), where high principal turnover had led to low performance and
a number of parent complaints. While reluctant to leave a school she loved, Superintendent Dr.
Janet Robinson says Armistead accepted the offer “for the sake of our students.” Recognizing a
need for bold and strategic leadership, Armistead took an analytic and diagnostic approach to
tackling problems facing CSE and its staff. Thanks largely to what one teacher calls a “keen
sense of recognizing the strengths and talents of others,” Armistead has successfully cultivated
and distributed leadership, while rebuilding trust, improving academic achievement, and building
a cohesive culture rooted in shared expectations. Among her many innovations and
accomplishments in her three years at CSE, Armistead implemented a “problem of practice”
protocol to support staff in addressing adaptive challenges impacting student success, leading to
increased dialogue and allowing for shared assessment, reflection, and strategizing to the benefit
of all students. Armistead holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and a
sixth-year degree from Southern Connecticut State University; an M.S. in Education from the
University of Bridgeport; and a B.A. in English with a Secondary Education Endorsement from
Norfolk State University.