NORWALK, Conn. – Interim Norwalk Schools Superintendent Tony Daddona was not among the finalists considered by the Board of Education to become the next permanent superintendent, according to reliable sources. In addition, the announcement of a new superintendent of Norwalk schools has officially been delayed until July 2 — but, who knows, you might find out sooner than that.
The delay is necessary because a 2008 federal settlement between the BOE and the Norwalk Federation of Teachers calls for the union to be informed of the choice for a new superintendent four days before the official offer is made.
Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons said Thursday there is no legal provision in that agreement keeping NFT President Bruce Mellion from revealing the name once he knows who the board selected. BOE members signed a confidentiality agreement with the search firm PROACT, but Mellion did not.
Lyons confirmed that the hoped-for June 25 announcement had been kyboshed.
“Due to the union agreement, I’ll have to push it off to July 2. That’s fine, it’ll make the process less rushed,” he said in an email.
Mellion could have invoked that legal provision when Daddona was given a $35,000-a-year raise to become the interim superintendent, but he didn’t, although at least one board member advocated searching for someone else to do the job.
Mellion did not return an email asking why he had waited until Tuesday to remind the board that it had a legal obligation to inform the NFT of its choice before offering someone a contract.
Board member Artie Kassimis said Thursday evening that the selected candidate had accepted the offer.
While Lyons said there had been no site visit — a visit to the selected superintendent’s school district — he also said it was still possible board members might do one.
Some people had speculated that the board’s vote on the new superintendent would be close, a 5-4 selection. A reliable source said that wasn’t the case.
Two members who are not usually allies argued to keep the process confidential, the source said, with both sides offering valid arguments.
Daddona was praised at Thursday’s Republican Town Committee meeting.
“Back in August, when Dr. Marks resigned, we all got together and decided to put Tony Daddona as the interim,” Kassimis said. “We asked him to do one thing: ‘Please bring some peace and calm to the district. Run it so we can find a superintendent.’ I just want to say publicly that he has done that. He has done a great job and I just want to thank him.”