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BOE names outreach committee in superintendent search

Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons listens to a member of the public Wednesday.
Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons listens to a member of the public Wednesday.

By Nancy Guenther Chapman

NORWALK, Conn. – A newly formed superintendent search committee will help Norwalk’s Board of Education look for the right candidate, even if its members don’t actually vote on who will be selected, BOE members said.

Norwalk Community College President David Levinson will be chairman of the committee, which will handle community outreach and develop a profile for a new candidate, BOE Chairman Mike Lyons announced Wednesday.

In addition to Levinson, members are:

  • Emily Aguilar, parent, co-founder of Ponus Ridge Middle School Governance Council
  • Anthony Allison, program director, Norwalk Children’s Foundation
  • Mike Barbis, BOE
  • Harry Carey, Norwalk Chamber of Commerce
  • Artie Kassimis, BOE
  • Rhonda Kiest, executive director, Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk ACTS
  • Rosa Murray, BOE
  • Novelette Peterkin, executive director, Carver Foundation
  • Steve Scatamacchia, Norwalk Board of Realtors

BOE member Migdalia Rivas wanted to add a NAACP representative, but Lyons said the committee already has one more member than what is recommended by PROACT, the board’s superintendent search firm. He said the committee has African American members and will meet once in a church that will provide access to NAACP members.

“I think it’s a good committee as it stands,” he said. “I’m the chairman, I appointed it.”

Rivas said she had not received an email looking for input.

BOE member Sue Haynie called the committee “stellar.”

The committee will help PROACT identify 12 candidates and then turn the process over to the board.

BOE member Stephen Colarossi said the plan is much better than the last superintendent search. BOE members were presented with three candidates by its search firm, he said. One was obviously not qualified. “I remember asking about other candidates,” he said. “I was told point blank, ‘Don’t worry, trust us. We’re giving you the best.’”

The formation of a committee to help the board is an important step, he said. “There was no community profile done the last time.”

Comments

2 responses to “BOE names outreach committee in superintendent search”

  1. Steve Colarossi

    Let me correct a comment attributed to me– three years ago, the Board of Education was presented with more than 3 candidates for superintendent from the consultant firm which was affiliated with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE). The consultant used at that time decided which candidates we would interview– there was no input as to the total pool. That is why I wanted to be certain that CABE would not be involved in this year’s search.
    By conducting extensive community-based meetings to develop the attributes the community would value in a superintendent, we will do a better job.

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