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NPS moves Hurwitz, hires four administrators

LinkedIn Photos: At left, Norwalk Public Schools Education Administrator of Specialized Instruction Fatima Susana-Tejada; at right, NPS Supervisor for Multilingual Learners and World Languages Luz V. Palmero.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Public Schools has announced four high-level hires and one major personnel shift – Scott Hurwitz is leaving Brien McMahon High School to oversee data for the district.

Friday’s news release names:

  • Fatima Susana-Tejada as NPS education administrator of specialized instruction. She’ll come to Norwalk from Greenwich Public Schools.
  • Hannah Cohen as “supervisor of specialized instruction for related services,” a position related to services for students with special needs. She comes here from Trumbull Public Schools.
  • Deborah Perry as education administrator for Scientifically Research Based Interventions (SRBI). She’s been department head of special education at Stamford High School.
  • Luz V. Palmero as supervisor for multilingual learners and world languages. She’s done similar work in Danbury at Wooster School and at Whitby School in Greenwich.

 

Hurwitz

“Scott Hurwitz will transition into a new role as education administrator of data analytics. In this role, Mr. Hurwitz will be responsible for providing data associated with federal and state requirements as well as school accreditation,” the news release said.

Hurwitz has been BMHS principal for four years. Assistant Principal Barbara Wood will serve as interim principal while a search is underway for the next BMHS principal, the news release said.

Hurwitz, Wood and Assistant Principal Qadir Abdus-Salaam were put on administrative leave without prejudice in April and while Wood was reinstated in May, Hurwitz and Abdus-Salaam were returned to duty June 16. Hearst Media learned allegations had been made against music teacher Frank Arcari, who resigned in May.

In his new role, Hurwitz will report to newly hired Deputy Superintendent of Excellence, Equity and Inclusion Thomas McBryde and be “responsible for a variety of duties associated with the acquisition, management, analysis and reporting of educational data for district departments and schools, including developing protocols to ensure data accuracy,” the release said. This is “data associated with federal and state requirements as well as school accreditation.”

Hurwitz was BMHS AP “from 2008-17, supervising academic departments, overseeing all aspects of school safety preparedness, and working with students, families and teacher to ensure successful progress towards graduation,” the release states. He “joined the school in 1996 as an English teacher, and also served as class adviser, newspaper adviser, freshmen baseball coach, yearbook adviser and NEASC accreditation chair.”

“His work has included collaborating with outside organizations in support of innovative programs, such as the CT Rise Network, which helps students succeed through data-driven innovations and improved systems,” the release states. “He also currently serves as a member of the Connecticut Accountability Advisory Group.”

 

 

Susana-Tejada

As education administrator of specialized instruction, Susana-Tejada “will provide leadership to coordinate and supervise the effective delivery of special education and related services, working closely with the community, families, staff and district teams by leading teams in identifying all instructional and related services for students based on student needs,” the release states.

NPS Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Services Yvette Goorevitch retired this year, after Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella announced an intention to cut a Central Office chief position.

Susana-Tejada will “oversee the operation of special education for Norwalk Public School, in consultation and collaboration with parents, teachers, and administrators in all matters relevant to the education of exceptional children. She will report to Rob Pennington, assistant superintendent of schools,” the release states.

She’s been with Greenwich schools for more than 12 years and has “deep experience across special education” in that district, “working with PPT teams in her tenure at multiple schools,” the release states. “Most recently, she served at Parkway School, where she worked to accelerate student learning to support students’ individual needs and abilities. Working with the school’s PPT team, she advised on providing and adjusting support for twice exceptional students. Her experience also includes work as a Kindergarten teacher, administrative intern and special projects manager.”

“She also serves as an educational consultant for Little Lola and Tots, which provides educational programming, parenting workshops and publishes books focused on cultural exposure and diversity,” according to the release. She also “served as IEP compliance coordinator for Stamford Public Schools, providing training and support to special education teachers and building administrators, supporting schools in monitoring and making instructional adjustments for students identified for special education, and instructing staff on IEP development, accommodations and modifications, and facilitating weekly PPT meetings. She started her education career as a dual language Kindergarten teacher at PS 75 in New York City.”

 

Cohen

“Cohen’s role will assist in the supervision of related staff who provide services for students with special needs including occupational and physical therapies, speech and language, teachers of the hearing impaired, teachers of the visually impaired and adapted physical education,” the release states. “Mrs. Cohen will work cooperatively with other school administrators and authorize special education and pupil personnel services. This position is a part of the special education leadership team and reports to the education administrator of specialized instruction.”

She was the speech-language team leader and the speech-language pathologist responsible for the evaluation and treatment of students in kindergarten through 12th grade in Trumbull, according to the release. She also worked with community and private preschools to provide evaluations and treatments for students.

She’s had similar positions in Darien, New York and Arizona “with a focus on cognition, speech/language, motor, self-help/daily living, socialization, and the evaluation and implementation of Individualized Education Plans,” the release states.

“Mrs. Cohen began her career as a speech-language pathologist in the medical field having worked as a family care visiting nurse in Stratford where she was responsible for the evaluation and treatment of dysphagia, language, communication and cognitive impairments in pediatric and adult/geriatric patients in their home setting,” the release states. “She also did speech-language pathology work at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield and Maefair Healthcare Center in Trumbull.”

 

 

Perry

Scientifically Research Based Interventions (SRBI) are required for all districts by the State, and are a “comprehensive and systematic approach to assessing and instructing students, with an emphasis placed on students whose progress indicates a need for intervention to ensure continuous growth,” the release states.

Perry will implement the district’s SRBI plan and report to Assistant Superintendent of Schools Rob Pennington, the release states. Before leading the Special Education Department at Stamford High School, she “was assistant education director and special education teacher for the Devereux Glenholme School, an independent therapeutic boarding school in Connecticut.”

 

Palermo

“Palmero will lead the development, organization, implementation and coordination of specific services and supports for multilingual learners and students studying world languages throughout the district.  Ms. Palmero will also provide instructional leadership and support to school leaders, teachers and staff.  She will report directly to the education administrator for curriculum and professional development,” the release states.

She’s got more than 19 years as a practiced Spanish teacher and experienced leader in curriculum development and planning and has worked to form and support goals and objectives for the world language program at P-TECH Norwalk, NPS states.

She was world language department coordinator in Danbury at Wooster School where she helped create the world language curriculum for students in grades 2-12 and as the Spanish department coordinator at Whitby School in Greenwich, she developed, communicated and monitored an action plan aligned to international baccalaureate standards and practices, according to NPS.

12 comments

Dave Mack July 18, 2021 at 3:18 pm

What is Going on In The Norwalk Public Schools?

Is it just me, or why is it we need all of these administrators? What are these specialist jobs really entailing? And on top of it we are having a remote Academy for kids who want to opt out of coming to school next year? What is going on in the Norwalk Public Schools? If Dr. Estrella is making over $300,000 salary now why do we need all of these administrators? can’t she make decisions on her own? In my opinion the people of Norwalk are getting fleeced, and so are our kids.

Marjorie July 19, 2021 at 2:19 pm

Exactly Nancy get the salaries from FOA. Where is all this administrative money coming from?

Stuart Garrelick July 20, 2021 at 10:56 am

“TRANSPARENCY”-if you can see clearly what you are looking at, with nothing being hidden, then what you are looking at is transparent.
BIG TO-DO-BMHS principal and assts and music dept. put on admin. leave or otherwise disposed of. WHY? WHAT HAPPENED? WHO’S FAULT WAS IT? Are new positions a promotion or demotion? What do taxpayers have a right to know and when will they know it? How many reorganizations has the NPS phased through in the last 5 years, why, what/who failed?
UNTRANSPARENCY-never being told anything, sweeping everything under the carpet, official reports of incidents never made public
1-Duff vs Police Union
2-Police drinking on the job
3-BMHS mess
4-City settlement with Mr. Dias – how much did that cost
5-Financial impact of NPS reorganizations
etc., etc., etc.

John O'Neill July 20, 2021 at 3:54 pm

@Stuart — Right on my friend. We don’t agree on everything, but you make a great argument. I fear the Board of Ed and NPS is quickly getting out of control. I truly believe it’s going to be a turbulent year and we’re right to demand transparency BEFORE things get out of hand.

Regarding your point #1 — Not sure if everyone knows but Saturday July 24th is National Spitters Day…..Let’s hope the weather cooperates.

Oversight July 20, 2021 at 6:12 pm

Where’s the BOE oversight? I haven’t seen this much BOE rubber stamping since the Sal Corda days. And look how that all ended and the years of digging out from it. How can the NPS budget sustain this level of administrator pay? The COVID money only lasts 2 years folks…Paging Lisa Brinton, I hope you have some stellar BOE candidates lined up.

Harry July 21, 2021 at 5:34 pm

What happened to Donalda Chumney, Academic Chief hired last Spring? I heard she is filing lawsuit against the BOE. We need to FOIL request all these new salaries. And what Chumney lawsuit will cost the taxpayers!

George P. July 23, 2021 at 2:02 pm

I too would like to know what happened to Donalda C.

There are very sketchy things occurring under this New York Supreintendent.

Where is Donalda C August 8, 2021 at 10:54 am

This is the person that the super hired last year that was suddenly “re-organized “ out of a job. Not sure that a contract signed can be re-organized. Why is no one paying attention to all of these massive hidings and firings? Most of the leaders who helped advance Norwalk to its highly touted number 1 status are gone! What is happening to our kids? Where is our board? And… What happened to Donalda C- Superintendent from NY hired then dumped?

Harry August 19, 2021 at 12:49 pm

Where can’t we get a straight answer about Donalda?
Was it because she failed to mention pending federal lawsuit against her in NYC?

No Respect Left for Norwalk Board of Education August 19, 2021 at 3:47 pm

To “Where is Donalda C”: I agree with your sentiment that there was an effort to rid the system of a number of administrators who had worked hard to develop NPS into a much stronger school system than it had been for a good number of years. They took with them a great storehouse of knowledge, and many of them also had strong people skills and common sense. Where is the knowledge that these people took with them? How many avoidable errors are being committed on a regular basis because of some of the people who have been hired lack the knowledge and skills of those who have left?

To “Harry”: I don’t know much about Donalda Chumney or the circumstances surrounding her separation from NPS, but surely the superintendent would have known about any pending lawsuits, since the two have been professional colleagues for years.

To “Norwalk Board of Education”: I write about you as a group, not about you as individuals, and I readily confess that there are good qualities represented among your membership. However, I have no respect for you as a functioning board, as a group that is supposed to provide collective oversight over the superintendent, her plans, her staffing and especially her expenditures. I am hopeful that there will be a house cleaning on Election Day and that elected to the new board will be people who are willing to think for themselves and to hold the superintendent accountable. I am well aware that you work many hours for no pay, but you wanted to be on the board of education; no one forced you. Do your job.

Where is Donalda C August 19, 2021 at 9:05 pm

More likely she will be filing a lawsuit against Norwalk for breach of contract. How many new administrators does Estrella need to get her job done? Wasn’t she the third highest paid in CT? None of the other highest paid leaders have a dozen administrators under them that do not run buildings! Where are those salaries? Are they not public information?

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