A former eighth-grade social studies teacher at Schaghticoke Middle School in New Milford has been hired to become the school district's assistant superintendent of schools.

The Board of Education voted unanimously last week to hire Joshua Smith of Plantsville, now the technology manager in the Ridgefield school district.

He will replace Maureen McLaughlin, who resigned after two years, effective June 30.

Mr. Smith is the first of 9.5 administrative positions the district officials have to replace for the next school year.

"We are very fortunate to have Mr. Smith return to New Milford," said Superintendent of Schools JeanAnn Paddyfote. "His professional experience and knowledge in curriculum, professional development and assessment will serve the district well.

Mr. Smith will be paid $155,086. Ms. McLaughlin's salary is $145,000.

Beyond educational experience, Mr. Smith authored the "Walking Tour of Historic New Haven'' and has been an adjunct professor in the masters of education program at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

During the early 1990s, he worked for U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-New Haven).

Mr. Smith's teaching career started in 1996. He taught from 1997 to 2000 in New Milford.

In the summer of 1999, he researched and developed a fifth through 12th grade Amistand curriculum for use in state classrooms.

Mr. Smith's career then steered toward educational technology.

Hamden school administrator Karen Kaplan described Mr. Smith as a visionary educational leader who is creative and a good communicator, with a sense of humor, and able to work with people at all levels.

"In one's career, there are always a few people with whom you work that stand out as extremely special," Ms. Kaplan said. "Josh Smith is one of those people."

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