October 6, 2022

Branford superintendent reflects on ‘incredibly rewarding’ career after nearly 2 decades in education

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BRANFORD — Hamlet Hernandez’s biggest accomplishment as the town’s superintendent of schools wasn’t policy-related but rather the impact he made on students and his colleagues, he said as he reflected on his career ahead of his retirement in June 2023, when he will have led the district for 13 years.

Hernandez became superintendent in 2010 after serving as an assistant superintendent in the Hamden school district for five years.

As a son of Cuban immigrants, Hernandez said he entered public service because he believed “freedom isn’t free,” and wanted to give back to his country and communities. His parents fled Cuba during the Cuban revolution’s 26th of July Movement in 1953, he said.

Prior to working in education, Hernandez was in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1982 until his retirement as lieutenant colonel from the active reserve in 2004.

“We also have a slew of teachers and social workers in our family, and that’s another way that we can give back to our community,” Hernandez said of his decision to pursue the school administrator career, seeing both services as “the great equalizer.”

“Not everybody has education, and sometimes, in this country, we take that for granted and we may get wrapped up around really minuscule and insignificant issues when, really, we’re preparing the next generation to advance our democratic way of life,” he said.



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