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Agency Leadership

Eric S. Protulis
Eric S. ProtulisExecutive
After decades of experience in educational leadership and supporting students with special needs across Connecticut, Eric returned to EASTCONN in July 2022, when he was appointed as Executive Director. Eric previously served as the Director of Pupil Services for Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) in Hamden, CT. At EASTCONN, Eric worked in several leadership roles, including Director of Special Services, Assistant Director of Special Services and Program Director of EASTCONN’s Educational and Vocational Center (EVC). He additionally served as Director of Special Education and Pupil Services and School Psychologist at Regional School District #8 in Hebron, CT and was a School Psychologist/Counselor in Plainville, CT. Eric holds a Specialist Designation, an M.S. and a B.A. from the University of Hartford, and is certified in both Educational Leadership and School Psychology. He also has his Superintendent of Schools endorsement. In his return to EASTCONN, Eric brings a desire to advocate for the needs of the districts in the EASTCONN region and to ensure the agency is poised to support learners of all ages.
 Shawn Brodeur
Shawn BrodeurDirector of Facilities
Shawn became EASTCONN’s Facilities Director in July 2021, overseeing the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the agency’s 15 program, school, and administrative sites, all located across EASTCONN’s 33-town, 36-school district region in northeastern Connecticut. As a certified Asbestos Operations and Maintenance Manager, Shawn keeps all of EASTCONN’s schools and buildings in compliance with state environmental and health laws. He provides Facilities Auditing Services for school districts that lack the on-staff expertise to determine their long-range facility needs. Prior to joining EASTCONN, Shawn worked as the Facilities Director for a private boarding school in eastern Connecticut overseeing a multitude of capital projects and expansion.
Kimberly Bush
Kimberly BushTransportation
With more than a decade of school transportation management experience in partnership with Connecticut public schools, Kimberly knows how to provide safe, high-quality, cost-effective bus service for students and communities in the Nutmeg State. Before joining EASTCONN in 2017, Kimberly excelled as Operations and Charter Manager for Specialty Transportation in Hartford/Avon, where she oversaw the dispatch, payroll and HR needs of 100+ drivers/buses in Hartford, in addition to 40+ in Avon. As Charter Manager for Specialty, she also supervised daily charter buses for the City of Hartford and 2 surrounding towns and oversaw all aspects of transportation for corporate and social events, as well as school activities. Prior to her work at Specialty, Kimberly was Operations Manager with Dattco in Avon, where she managed daily transportation operations and acted as communications liaison with both school administrators and parents. Kimberly also has experience in the early childhood field; she was the Assistant Director of a private preschool-kindergarten program in Avon and Windsor, Conn., where she worked as the head teacher in a full-day kindergarten classroom.
Larisa Carr
Larisa CarrEastern Connecticut Health Insurance Program (ECHIP)
In 2012, Larisa became the Administrator for the Eastern Connecticut Health Insurance Program (ECHIP), Connecticut’s first health insurance collaborative. A life and health insurance broker licensed in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, Larisa had previously worked in the private sector as a sales executive and a broker. She became a senior sales executive at ConnectiCare for 8 years before leaving to open her own independent brokerage agency, specializing in small group health insurance. After successfully growing her agency, she merged with a larger firm and sold the business in 2010, after being recruited by United Health Care. She joined UHC as a regional sales executive, representing them in new business sales and account management retention. She managed a national book of business, traveling to clients in Texas, Minnesota and California, as well as a regional book of business with clients in New York and Connecticut.
Andrew DePalma
Andrew DePalmaTechnology Solutions Director/CTO
Andy is a career-long educator, researcher, and technologist with 24 years of experience. He started at the University of Connecticut as a consultant in the Office Instructional and Research Services, and after the completion of his doctorate took a faculty position at the UCONN College of Continuing Studies with a dual appointment at the Neag School of Education and an administrative appointment as Director of Technology. Soon afterward he took leadership of Information Science and Knowledge Management, supervising faculty and curriculum development. Andy came to EASTCONN is 2014, with the initial task of assembling and organizing the then newly-formed Technology Solutions Division. He brought a broad knowledge of technology, technology education, and education practice and theory, and built a flexible and responsive unit. As division director, Andy oversees research and data services, information technology, application development, and network operations. His areas of direct service are consulting on school climate, automated analysis and reporting, data mining, classroom robotics, and application development for research. Andy holds a Ph.D. in Education and B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
Diane Dugas
Diane DugasDirector of K-12 Magnet Schools and Leading &
Diane Dugas directs EASTCONN’s Leading and Learning division, as well as the agency’s two magnet high schools and its alternative high school. Formerly the director of EASTCONN’s Center for Educational Leadership, which she now also oversees, Diane was previously a superintendent of schools, an assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, a turn-around principal and a special education teacher. A lifelong educator, Diane has conducted doctoral research on the ways in which central office supports leadership capacity for transformational change. She holds a Sixth Year certificate and is a graduate of the UConn Executive Leadership Program. Diane specializes in leadership and talent development; social-emotional learning; competency-based, student-centered learning; and strategic planning. She also facilitates EASTCONN’s Regional Staff Development Council. To learn more about EASTCONN’s Leading and Learning virtual professional development opportunities, as well as embedded district professional learning or team facilitation across a range of K-12 academic fields and pedagogies, contact Diane at her email listed above.
Diane Gozemba
Diane GozembaEarly Childhood Initiatives
Diane became the Director of Early Childhood Initiatives at EASTCONN in 2015. She previously served as the Director of EASTCONN’s Early Head Start and Head Start program, chaired the Department of Education at Mitchell College, directed a lab school and developed a Family Center at Brooklyn Friends Schools, working as administrator in both urban and rural areas. Diane has a Masters’ Degree from Bank Street College of Education. Her professional content expertise includes Building Cultural Competencies, Early Childhood Program Administration and the use of the coaching process as a means to improve instruction. Diane presents nationally and at statewide conferences. Currently she is supporting several components of the Quality Improvement Grant awarded by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. Diane is a leader in providing professional learning, coaching in districts, community programs and statewide support of the early childhood workforce.
Kristin Hempel
Kristin HempelAdult & Community Programs
Kristin has been a passionate adult education administrator and advocate in CT for many years. Previously, she was an elementary principal in NY, a teacher and high school administrator in RI, and an administrator and curriculum designer for a virtual school. She graduated from Swarthmore College, received her MA in Educational Psychology from Vermont College, and completed her principal residency program at Northeastern University in Boston. An active executive board member of the Connecticut Association for Adult and Continuing Education (CAACE), Kristin has chaired the Professional Development Task Force for eight years and represented CAACE at COABE’s Capitol Hill Days and National Skills Coalition’s Skills Summit. Nationally, Kristin is a CT representative to the New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC) Advisory Board and is an elected member of the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) board representing ME/NH/VT/RI/MA/CT/NY/NJ/PA (Region 1) where she also chairs the Students As Leaders Task Force.
 Melanie Marcaccio
Melanie MarcaccioHuman Resources
Melanie has more than 38 years of experience in the Human Resources/Labor Relations field, having held executive-level governmental positions in Rhode Island, where her service encompassed all aspects of Human Resources management for up to 14,000 employees. Prior to joining EASTCONN’s team in 2017, Melanie served most recently as the Acting Executive Director of Human Resources/Personnel Administrator and as Deputy Personnel Administrator with the State of Rhode Island. Melanie earned her bachelor of science degree from the University of Rhode Island and attended Providence College’s Masters in Business Administration – Personnel Administration and Labor Relations program. She is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Effective Speaking and Human Relations training program, Leadership RI, and Incident Command System Training for Emergency Response.
Amy Margelony
Amy MargelonyDirector of Pupil
Prior to being appointed Director of Pupil services at EASTCONN, Amy had served as Assistant Director. She originally joined EASTCONN in April of 2013 as Program Director for one of the agency’s two K-12 Clinical Day Treatment Programs. Before choosing new roles at EASTCONN, Amy served as a classroom teacher and Assistant Principal at East Hartford Middle School. She also launched her own consulting company and worked as a special education advocate, assisting families throughout Connecticut. Amy obtained her bachelor’s in Social Work from Central Connecticut State University and continued her education at the University of Hartford, where she earned both a master’s degree and a certification in Elementary Education. Amy earned her 6th-year degree in School Administration at UConn.
Dona Prindle
Dona PrindleCommunications
With a professional background in digital, print and TV advertising, web design, radio, social media, analytics strategies and graphic design, Dona brings a wealth of experience to her role as Communications Director. Dona joined EASTCONN as a Marketing and Communications Specialist in 2018, when she quickly began expanding the department’s digital advertising capacity and social media presence. Prior to joining EASTCONN, she worked for many years at the Hartford Courant, where she held numerous marketing positions, including, most recently, that of Marketing Manager for the Chicago Tribune’s operational transition team for its East Coast properties. Prior to working in that role, Dona was Consumer Marketing Manager for the Hartford Courant Media Group, where she was responsible for implementing and maintaining brand integrity for all consumer-facing brands, including that of the Courant, Hartford Magazine, CTNOW, and Studio 1847. Before that, Dona was B2C Brand Manager for The Courant. In addition, she served for nine years as the Courant’s Digital Operations Manager. Dona graduated from UConn with a BFA in Graphic Design.
Patricia Ann Proctor
Patricia Ann ProctorChief Financial
After decades of seasoned experience in Accounting and Finance in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors, Patricia joined EASTCONN in September, 2022. She earned a BS in Accounting from the University of Bridgeport and an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Her past work experience includes Exxon Corporation, where she started her career in Cash Management and was promoted and relocated to Dallas. Patricia then took a position with United Technologies, handling numerous cost accounting projects working with the Marine Corp. She then joined Dresser Industries, Inc., a leader in oil and gas manufacturing, working with general ledger accounting, consolidations (SEC data, stockholder annual report), and BOD reporting. After 10 years of service, Patricia started her own business, and in 2000 relocated to Plymouth, MA, where her business thrived, servicing over 55 clients in various industries and locations. In 2018, Patricia sold her business and joined Diversified Distribution, an on-site manufacturing company as their Controller. Soon, she was promoted to CFO, and then to CFO/COO.

EASTCONN Title IX Role Assignments

Title IX Coordinators

  • Hampton Central Administration Offices: Melanie Marcaccio
  • Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT): Sarah Mallory
  • Quinebaug Middle College (QMC): Ted Keleher
  • Clinical Day Treatment (CDT) Programs:
  • Northeast Regional Program (NRP): Kurt Mias
  • Educational & Vocational Center (EVC): Gregory Biggs
  • Bridges Community School: Erin Crosby
  • Psychological & Behavioral Services: Ravit Stein
  • EASTCONN Transition Academy: Nicole Constantine


Title IX Investigators

  • Hampton Central Administration Offices: Melanie Marcaccio
  • Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT): Sarah Mallory
  • Quinebaug Middle College (QMC): Ted Keleher
  • Clinical Day Treatment (CDT) Programs:
  • Northeast Regional Program (NRP): Kurt Mias
  • Educational & Vocational Center (EVC): Gregory Biggs
  • Bridges Community School: Erin Crosby
  • Psychological & Behavioral Services: Ravit Stein
  • EASTCONN Transition Academy: Nicole Constantine


Title IX Decision-Makers

  • Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT): Diane Dugas
  • Quinebaug Middle College (QMC): Diane Dugas
  • Clinical Day Treatment (CDT) Programs: Amy Margelony
  • Hampton Central Administration Offices: Amy Margelony


Title IX Appeal Decision-Maker

All Programs: Eric Protulis


EASTCONN is a public, non-profit, Regional Educational Service Center, which has been serving the education needs of northeastern Connecticut schools and communities since 1980.

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