FAIRFIELD — Paul Cavanna began his tenure as headmaster of Warde High School on July 15.

Cavanna was selected in May to replace former headmaster David Ebling following Ebling’s retirement from a 40-year career in education.

Cavanna comes from Milford, where he most recently served as principal of West Shore Middle School. Before that, he served as assistant principal of Milford’s Jonathan Law High School. Per Cavanna’s contract, he will report to the superintendent and receive an annual salary of $185,437.

Reached at the end of his second week on the job, Cavanna expressed gratitude and excitement for the opportunity.

“I’m truly honored to serve the school community as headmaster,” Cavanna said. “I know the school has a rich tradition of excellence, and I look forward to continuing the strong partnerships that exist among the teachers, parents and students.”

So far, Cavanna has enjoyed getting to know various members of the school community, from the staff in his office to the students and parents who stop by for summer activities. He noted that relationships are a core part of his educational philosophy, and he plans to start his tenure as headmaster by listening to and learning from others.

In August, he said, he’ll send out an entry plan detailing his goals for gathering information on core school components such as student achievement data, college and career readiness, graduation rates and the school improvement plan. In January, he’ll present these findings, and the faculty will collectively decide how to proceed from there.

Overall, Cavanna hopes to show the community his dedication to Warde and its educational values.

“I just keep thinking about this quote from Theodore Roosevelt: ‘People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care,’” Cavanna said. “That’s really the focal point of starting my tenure here.”

rscharf@hearstmediact.com