Norwalk BoE to name interim superintendent Tuesday night

NORWALK, Conn. – The selection of an interim superintendent of schools is on the agenda for Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

There are two candidates who are being interviewed in secret before the regular meeting, BoE Chairman Mike Lyons said. The names of the candidates are confidential, he said.

The interviews will be done in an executive session during a special meeting that begins at 5 p.m. The matter will be voted on during the regular meeting, which begins at 7:45 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

“Hopefully the Board will reach a consensus after interviewing the candidates before the meeting,” Lyons said.

Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Manny Rivera’s resignation is effective Jan. 31.


21 responses to “Norwalk BoE to name interim superintendent Tuesday night”

  1. WOW just WOW

    There are two candidates who are being interviewed in secret

    why do I get nervous when things are done in secret?

  2. MarjorieM

    Weren’t we promised transparency? I’m not a fan of secrets.

  3. LWitherspoon

    The notion that interim superintendent applicants should be interviewed in public is absurd. Who would submit to such a process?

    How about firing all NPS personnel with more than 10 years of NPS experience, having them reapply for their jobs, and interviewing them in public? After all, transparency is everything. How about opening every NPS employee’s personnel file to the public? After all, we were promised transparency.

  4. anon

    @Witherspoon, agreed.


    @ Witherspoon, disagree

  6. Lifelong Teacher

    Witherspoon, agreed.

  7. Piberman

    Electing a BOE to supervise our school system but not trusting them on personnel decisions fosters a dysfunctional BOE school system and revolving Supts. Everyone with experience in the business world understands why interviews and selections are made in confidence by Boards. No candidate wants to advertise their current employment by publicly revealing they’re looking for another job. Maybe those who do not trust the BOE in the guise of “transparency” should explain why they don’t trust their elected BOE.

  8. John Hamlin

    @LWitherspoon– great approach — transparency and fairness to the taxpayers

  9. Lisa Thomson

    I agree with Witherspoon and will take it one step further. If certain members of the Board, working with NPS employees attempt to delay or derail the superintnedent search process, then call in the state, get rid of the board and fire those employees, who have been holding the district hostage for all these years.

  10. Nora King

    I agree with Lisa. If the three board members remain detrimental – we need to call in the state and force a reorganization and key people need to be fired.

    No job interview should be conducted out in the open. That is what the BOE is for as well as we have Dr. Rivera’s time now to weigh in on the decision. When a company is hiring key people they don’t allow the masses to make the decision.

    What people need to do is start showing up on voting day and getting the right people elected. They also need to be vocal on certain members that are on NPS payroll and how they need to be fired immediately so the next superintendent has a chance.

  11. Piberman

    To those who lay blame on the the “trio” for all BOE malfunctions why are you reluctant to ask the Mayor to convene a panel to explore in confidence their “grievances” ? is it really the case that one-third the BOE is unable to make positive contributions ? The BOE was elected by the citizens of Norwalk as a public body. If problems arise who better than the Mayor to convene an investigory panel ? Why not pressure the Mayor to intervene before calling in the State to intervene. Unless the Mayor refuses to be involved in an election year.

  12. MarjorieM

    A school system is not a corporation. A school system has the obligation to report to parents, not just to dictate what they are doing. If an interim superintendent is available at the end of January, it seems highly unlikely that this person is working elsewhere. At least present the final two candidates to the public. Secrecy has not been a problem for the Board members in outing those who are not performing. How else would the public know that some of the employees in NPS are not doing as well as could be expected? Administrators are evaluated by central office. So why the need for secrecy now?

  13. LWitherspoon


    Parents have the obligation to inform themselves and vote for BoE representatives who they believe will make good personnel decisions. I’m glad to see the PTOC getting organized to do just that.

    I’m surprised that you don’t have an opinion on my facetious suggestion to fire all NPS staff with more than 10 years experience, have them reapply for their jobs, and conduct the interviews in public. I would think you’d be in favor of such a thing, since you seem to like transparency so much.

  14. MarjorieM

    LWitherspoon, why 10 years experience? I think all Teachers need to be re-evaluated yearly, with parental input. If they are not doing the job, offer support the following year and fire the next year if progress is not being made. I do like transparency when it comes to our clients, the children. I also believe in support for the adults to give them a chance to improve.

  15. Marj, teacher evaluations — alone of all state and local government employees in Connecticut — are exempt from disclosure under the FOI Act (due to an amendment the unions lobbied for). So parents can’t see their evaluations (though they can see other employees’ evaluations).

  16. Steve Colarossi

    It is extremely unfair for the droning on about the “three detrimental members” to be continued without either Ms. King and Ms. Thompson providing some factual support for their contention.

    Unfortunately, in their continued efforts to settle old political scores, true facts have been lacking. But, based upon Ms. King’s claim that voters should be vocal about some long-term Norwalk Public School employees who “need to be fired immediately”, I question what her criteria would be. Of course, as she should know, the BoE does not have the power to fire any employee other than the superintendent. It is the superintendent who controls those decisions. So, if she does have complaints about administrators who should be fired, she should look to past superintendents who failed to act.

    Among BoE members, her definition of “detrimental” seems to focus on either asking too many questions or being on the wrong-side of some inner-circle Democrat party divide. If her definition of “detrimental” were to include leaking confidential information to the press or making derogatory comments about colleagues, the BoE members she seeks to monitor would be vastly different.

  17. MarjorieM

    Since administrators do not have the right to opt out of FOI for evaluations(If I understood Mike Lyons’ explanation that other employees -not teachers-are fair game), I call on NON to ask for the evaluations of those who have been complained about publicly. It would seem that a superintendent who evaluates his/her staff would know who has been naughty and who has been nice. Under FOI, I would like to see Marks’ and Rivera’s evaluations of these people.


    Sad that anyone would support something so Un-American as running government in secret.
    Also why is it everyone only mentions the 3 board members.. Have you all forgot about big mouth Jack.

  19. A_Taxpayer_And_A_Citizen

    There is nothing un-American about interviewing the candidates in executive session. In fact, our Freedom of Information law allows it as an exception to open meetings. There are many discussions made outside the view and range of hearing of the general population, for example, matters of contract negotiations and personnel matters, and there is nothing inappropriate about it. The taxpayers voted for the board of education to represent the needs of the Norwalk community, and that is what they will do tonight. Not everyone will agree with their thinking or their decision. That’s the way it works. Such a representative democracy has worked for our government for over 200 years.

    The law does require a public vote by the board of education, perhaps with spririted debate. Anyone can attend tonight’s meeting to witness the discussion/debate and the vote.

  20. Phillip

    Cringe at anything “secret”, however for an interim,, an interim really has no power, just a state mandated seat warmer. But do hope that the process is more inclusive for Dr Riveras replacement.

    Watching the immature, unprofessional antics the last several months by many board members, well.. We cant afford any more errors.

    This is a democracy and everyone has skin in this game. If a decision is made to not have a somewhat inclusive process how will that effect public relations? What support can the next super expect if everyone is skeptical from the jump.

    The Board and the chairman need to think this through. The board doesn’t exactly have the support they should have and no one to fault but themselves. Having a somewhat inclusive process will help rebuild the lost confidence in the current board. Ya know Mike?

  21. WOW just WOW

    That’s your opinion ..However I still see it as Un-American

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