NORWALK, Conn. — Brien McMahon High School is getting its administrators back.
“We are pleased to announce that Scott Hurwitz will return tomorrow, June 16, 2021, to his position as Principal of Brien McMahon High School. Qadir Abdus-Salaam will also return tomorrow to his position as Assistant Principal of Brien McMahon High School,” said Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella in a Tuesday evening email.
Thus ends an odd saga that’s puzzled the community: Hurwitz, Abdus-Salaam and Assistant Principal Barbara Wood were placed on administrative leave without prejudice in April, with no explanation to the public, prompting confusion and concern among BMHS families. Wood returned to her job in early May. NPS Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams said, in April, that they were on leave “while the district addresses a personnel matter.”
Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella followed that with an announcement that “we are not investigating any allegations of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct.”
Coinciding with these developments, all three Brien McMahon music teachers were placed on administrative leave. Two have resigned. BMHS Choral Teacher Frank Arcari’s resignation was effective May 15 while BMHS Orchestra Teacher Scott Benson’s is effective June 30.
There’s been no indication whether or not the development are related. “Personnel matters are confidential,” Wilcox Williams said in April.
Late last week, NancyOnNorwalk learned that a State Department of Education investigation into “issues of concern” at Brien McMahon had ended and published a story Monday. Parents responded with a letter to the editor, urging that Hurwitz be reinstated.
“In the nearly four years since Mr. Hurwitz took the helm at Brien McMahon, he has proven himself to be a dynamic and engaging principal, and someone who has the interest of all students at heart,” Julie Begos, Tracy Gulick and Jody Sattler wrote. “…Whatever is being investigated needs to be viewed in the context of his significant value to the Brien McMahon community. If he does not return, it would only serve to hurt the current students for whom he has advocated so strongly. The loss would set McMahon back years, and the harm to students, faculty, staff, and the district itself, would be irreparable.”
Board of Education Chairman Colin Hosten responded to Begos and Sattler at Tuesday’s BoE meeting, saying, “that personnel matter has now been closed. It’s been adjudicated, finished, and then (there) will be further clarity in the days and weeks to come.”
Estrella, in Tuesday’s email, also offered “a special thank you to Barbara Wood for serving in the role of Acting Principal.”