staff posing

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Edith E. Mackrille School was ranked the 25th-best elementary school in Connecticut by the U.S. News & World Report. 

Judith B. Drenzek, the Assistant Superintendent for the West Haven Board of Education, served as principal at Mackrille School from 2012 to 2021. Drenzek credits the school’s success to its incredible staff and ability to work together to provide the best resources for its students. 

“The success that Mackrille is experiencing is a direct result of the hard work and dedication from all staff members,” exclaimed Drenzek. “The staff has worked together as one to provide the best resources and opportunities for all of our students, of all different abilities, to be able to succeed in both school and life. I could not be prouder of our Mackrille family [teachers and parents] for their continuous support of the children.”

The U.S. News & World Report ranked 560 elementary schools and 288 middle schools in Connecticut. Schools are ranked at the state and district levels. To determine the rankings, U.S. News used data from the U.S. Department of Education to analyze two areas at each school; Math and reading proficiency (or how well students perform on state assessments) and Math and reading performance (or how well they perform compared with expectations). The state assessment data used in the rankings is from the 2018-19 school year and, therefore, predates any effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on test-taking.

Edith E. Mackrille School, a PreK through 4th-grade elementary school, has a student population of 308. Of those 308 students, 82% scored above proficient or above level for Reading and Math.

In November, Drenzek and Superintendent Neil Cavallaro honored the staff at Mackrille for their vested interest in making a school environment a positive place for students to learn. Drenzek and current principal Taryn Driend, who took over in July, each addressed the staff prior to the start of the event. 


  • “This is a wonderful achievement for the school,” said Driend. “The end result is attributed to all the hard work by the students, teachers, and parents/guardians. This is a truly collaborative effort and goes to show what can be accomplished when the school community comes together and focuses on the common goal of educating our youth.”

  • “Mackrille School has accomplished this excellent achievement with the collaboration of the students, parents, and school staff,” said Kim Zabilowski and Carol Hummel from the Reading Department. “We work together to create a positive and successful environment for all children at the school. Mackrille has always included the community to be guest readers. This has helped inspire and encourage the students to become lifelong readers.”

  • “The students have worked so hard in the classroom and their motivation to succeed has paid off,” added 4th-grade teacher Stacey Alves. “I am very proud of all the students in our school.”

  • “Congratulations to Mackrille School on this achievement,” said match coach Jen Rosenberg. “The staff has high levels of expectations for all their students and the students work hard to rise to this occasion. I am proud of all of you!”

  • “It's certainly a collaborative effort among all involved,” added social worker DeAnna Paolino. “Mackrille is very lucky to have supportive parents and administration as well as a dedicated staff.  Our students have put in a lot of hard work to get where they are and it definitely has shown. The past two years have not been easy due to circumstances we have been unable to control, which says a lot about what needed to be done to get to this point. We are very proud of all involved, grateful to all who have supported us, and very happy with the success that we have been able to obtain here at Mackrille School.”