WCSU graduate selected as principal of Danbury’s newest school
The Exploration Academies to open fall 2014

DANBURY, CONN. — Dr. Frank LaBanca, a graduate of the Western Connecticut State University doctoral program in instructional leadership, will serve as the principal of Danbury’s The Exploration Academies at Mill Ridge, which opens next fall.


A longtime educator, LaBanca is the director of the Center for 21st Century Skills at Education Connection, commonly known as the “Regional Service Center.” The center represents Western Connecticut school districts whose mission is educational change and improvement. LaBanca, from Sandy Hook, has worked with more than 40 K-12 schools in the state. He will start his new position in February.

The Exploration Academies, which opens August 2014, will offer educational programming in the areas of STEM and Global Studies. The school will accommodate 600 students from Danbury chosen through a lottery system. The new school is a magnet school because of its theme-based curriculum, but the curriculum will also follow the standard district academic criteria.

The STEM Academy will focus on science, technology, engineering and math. The Global Studies Academy will focus on exploring critical international themes and issues that are occurring across the world and that have significant relevance to the lives of today’s students. Mandarin Chinese will be offered, as well as Spanish, which will be taught at both academies.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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