McGee Middle School was founded in 1969 and renovated in 1996 to meet the growing needs of the community. Additions included new science labs, nine classrooms, and an upgraded library / media center. Over the years McGee has been steered by principals and teachers who have maintained a focus on student academic, social, and emotional success. In 2004, former principal Carol Janssen was honored as the Connecticut Principal of the Year. The following year, Brian Benigni was honored by the Connecticut Association of Schools as the William Cieslukowski Outstanding First-Year Middle School Principal. McGee Middle School is the proud alma mater of many famous professionals, including; Mauro Gozzo, former Major League Baseball pitcher; Austin Stowell, actor best known for his role as Kyle Connellan in “Dolphin Tale”; Laura Woyasz, cast member of the Broadway hit “Wicked”; and famous animal trainer Bill Berloni, who trained Sandy for the movie “Annie”.

TIME LINE 1969 - 1979


  • Opened to Grades 7 & 8 with Prinipal Michael Carbone
  • Dedicated to Catherine M. McGee


  • Joseph R. Suranna hired as Vice Principal
  • Opened to Grade 6 students who were taught as a separate unit within school brining total enrollment to 810
  • Some classes were taught in the lecture rooms
  • Learning Disabilities Class added
  • Track Intermural Program founded by James Keefe


  • Title IX passed resulting in equal opportunities for girls to participate in sports


  • Departments Heads appointed and committees established to improve coordinaton of class content between the schools and review the core curriculum


  • Math - Multi-media approach structuring teaching strategies to meet individual achievement levels adopted
  • Science - Lab-oriented approach stressing individual student inquiry adopted
  • Social Studies - Team teaching adopted
  • Intermural athletics
  • Active Choral Music Program & Instrumental Music programs


  • Berlin Public Schools Learning Festival
  • Career Awareness Program introduced
  • Title I Project RISE (Reinforming Instruction through Supplemental Education Program) launched to tutor in reading, math, and language arts


  • Interdisciplinary, Team-Based instruction authorized by BOE
  • Budget cuts eliminate interscholastic sports, late-bus transportation, and after-school use of buildings at McGee


  • First comprehensive achievement testing

TIME LINE 1980 - 1989


  • Five-year overall Instructional Improvement Plan focusing on science & language arts
  • Writing assessment for grade 7
  • Diagnostic & Prescriptive Laboratory for reading and math
  • CAPP (Comprehensive Approach to Pupil Planning) Coordinators to standardize Special Education services


  • Interscholastic sports and after-school use of building restored
  • Qualifying grade 8 students receive accelerated science instruction in biology
  • McGee praised for initiating a unique "core team" system dividing students' time into blocks that were rotated on a consistent schedule giving students access to remedial help that they needed during the school day without altering their basic schedule.


  • Writing and Grammar curriculum revised


  • Girls' soccer replaced field hockey
  • Auditorium dedicated to Robert C. Luckens, former Board of Education member and treasurer


  • Closed one day due to fumes from roofing tar


  • Guy Parillo hired as new principal
  • Girls' Varsity Basketball Team undefeated for fourth consecutive year and champions of the Mid-State Middle School League under Head Coach Adela McLaughlin and Assistant Coach Paul Griswold
  • First Washington, DC, Field Trip for Grade 8 Students


  • Asbestos removed
  • First Regatta Day

TIME LINE 1990 - 1999


  • Sixteen room addition and renovations proposed


  • Exchange concert with Pulaski Middle School, New Britain


  • Two portable classrooms installed to ease overcrowding


  • FIRST Robotics Program began by Paul Griswold
  • Plan for $6.5 million expansion and renovation completed
  • Six portable classrooms installed
  • Assistant Principal Joseph R. Suranna dies
  • Mr. Theodore Waz hired as Assistant Principal


  • Voters approved expansion plans


  • Hazardous odor sickens staff and students who are transported to area hospitals for medical observation
  • New library-media center dedicated to Joseph R. Suranna
  • Heterogeneous grouping piloted in Science and ILA
  • Mrs. Sorensen hired as Assistant Principal


  • Ms. Carol Janssen hired as principal


  • McGee March Madness Intramural Basketball Tournament and Penny Drive begins
  • McGee Miler begins


  • Town-to-Town Care-a-Van painted by students from McGee, Slade & Roosevelt Middle Schools
  • Rope climbing wall installed in gym



  • Brian Benigni promoted to Assistant Principal
  • Brenda Janik promoted to new position of Dean of Students


  • Carol Janssen was honored as the Connecticut Principal of the Year


  • Brian Benigni promoted to Principal
  • Brian Benigni was honored by the Connecticut Association of Schools as the William Cieslukowski Outstanding First-Year Middle School Principal
  • Brenda Janik promoted to Assistant Principal
  • James Sachs hired as Dean of Students


  • Barbara Ventura promoted to Assistant Principal


  • Dr. Scott Ratchford hired as Principal
  • Fumes from roof repair halted classes
  • $6.79 million renovation of roof and HVAC system began


  • McGee opened as an emergency shelter after blizzard


  • Pamela Hamad hired as Assistant Principal
  • Steel braces installed to reinforce interior walls


  • Dr. Arnold Frank served as interim Principal


  • Former McGee student Salvatore Urso hired as Principal
  • David Kitzman hired as Assistant Principal