EASTCONN Where Learning Comes to Life

EASTCONN Chooses Principal to Lead The LEAP School

EASTCONN is pleased to announce that David C. Howes will lead the agency’s new, regional, alternative high school for northeastern Connecticut students.

The LEAP (Learners Empowered to Achieve their Potential) School welcomed Howes as its new principal after a nationwide search. Located at 729 Main St., in Willimantic, The LEAP School is open to students from all eastern Connecticut school districts.

”We are delighted that David Howes has joined the EASTCONN family and our LEAP school,” said EASTCONN Leading and Learning Director Diane Dugas. “David is a highly regarded educator with impeccable credentials. His experience in creating personalized learning for students is a perfect match for The Leap School. We’re proud to have him on the EASTCONN team.”

“Throughout my career, I have sought to create learning environments where student-centered learning is vigorous, joyful and meaningful,” said Howes. “LEAP is founded on these principles. Our school will provide students with learning experiences that are built around their personal goals, interests and needs. LEAP students will learn both in the classroom and in the community as they master the knowledge and skills necessary to earn their high school diplomas, while also developing the habits of character that will prepare them to be confident, capable and responsible citizens in their communities.”

Howes comes to EASTCONN from New London, where he was principal and executive director (2014-2019) at the Interdistrict School of Arts and Communication (ISAAC), an independent, public charter school. Howes was a founding teacher at ISAAC, where he taught between 1998 and 2011 and he also served as ISAAC’s director of academics for many years. He was an education consultant for Hartford and New Haven public schools, and served as assistant principal at Hartford’s Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan Elementary School. Early in his career, Howes taught social studies in Texas and special education in Massachusetts.

Howes holds a Connecticut Superintendent’s Certificate (093), a School Administrator Certificate (092), and numerous other professional credentials. He graduated with a bachelor’s in history and a master’s in teaching from Connecticut College. Howes earned his Sixth Year in Educational Leadership at UConn, Storrs, where he also completed UConn’s Executive Leadership Program.

EASTCONN opened The LEAP School in response to districts that need an alternative high-school-completion program for students. The program is designed for students who have encountered academic challenges and are at risk of dropping out, but who also have a strong desire to succeed, both in and out of school. While earning their high school diploma, LEAP students learn in an individualized, small-class environment that incorporates career-readiness into a balanced academic program.

Students who qualify for LEAP enrollment must be referred by their school district. Learn more at www.eastconn.org/leap, or contact David C. Howes at dhowes@eastconn.org.

LEAP is administered by EASTCONN, a public, non-profit, Regional Educational Service Center that has been serving the education needs of northeastern Connecticut schools and communities since 1980. Visit www.eastconn.org.