By Associated Press - Saturday, January 18, 2014

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - Newtown education officials have named Joseph Erardi Jr. as the new superintendent of Newtown public schools, taking over a school district that is still grappling with the aftermath of elementary school shooting that left 20 young children and six educators dead.

The News-Times ( reports that school and community leaders officially announced the selection of Erardi, of Southington, at a meeting held Friday night.

Erardi expressed his desire to move beyond the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy, saying “I am respectful for the past, ready to work hard in the present, and very excited for the future.”

Erardi has served for eight years as the Southington school chief. He is expected to assume his new post in April, replacing interim Superintendent John Reed.

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