NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Manuel Rivera didn’t waste any time in finding his new information technology guru, and he is no stranger to Norwalk — or to Rivera.
Ralph Valenzisi has been tapped by Rivera to be Norwalk Public Schools’ new chief of technology, innovation and partnerships. From 2006 to 2009, Valenzisi was the school system’s director of technology and, from 2004 to 2006, he served as instructional technology specialist.
Since leaving NPS, Valenzisi has been senior vice president for e-learning and educational technology for GEMS Education in New York City. Prior to accepting the superintendent’s position in Norwalk, Rivera was the CEO of GEMS, an international education company that owns and operates high-performing schools, according to its public relations materials. It also offers consulting services to both the public and private sectors.
Valenzisi’s hiring and contract are on the agenda for tonight’s (Sept. 3) Norwalk Board of Education meeting at 7:45 at City Hall. The agenda, Valenzisi’s resume and contract and other information are attached below.
When Rivera presented his senior staff reorganization plans to the Board of Education in August, he stressed the importance of upgrading the current IT director position to chief for technology, innovation and partnerships. The position will report directly to Rivera.
In his BOE presentation, he wrote, “This is another significantly enhanced role, with responsibilities including partnership building and management, strategic planning and systems development, driving technology related to innovations and other duties. Start date would be ASAP.”
According to the proposed contract, Valenzisi’s salary would be $175,000. The former IT director was paid $162,590. If the contract is approved tonight, he would begin his duties Wednesday.
“I’m going to look for somebody who is going to bring more to the table,” Rivera said after announcing his staff reorganization. “Someone who is able to work with me on expanding innovation to other schools. Let’s look at how we revamp or how we rethink potentially our libraries in a number of our schools.”
Other possible technological improvements would include real-time dashboards to track school performance, he said.
“I’m not quite up to speed on all we currently have, but I do have a vision of what I’d like to see operating for us,” he said.
Also on the BOE agenda is Deputy Superintendent Tony Daddona’s new contract. Daddona’s new title – he was assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction – comes with a familiar salary of $199,875, the same as was budgeted before the title swap. Daddona, who served as interim superintendent to bridge the gap between Susan Marks’ resignation and Rivera’s hiring, will handle the day-to-day administrative chores, Rivera said earlier, while the new superintendent concentrates on improving the schools and preparing for the full switch to the new Common Core Standards next year as prescribed by the state.
Also on tonight’s agenda are discussions regarding student and teach social media and communication policy and student-run café policy, as well as the BOE meeting schedule for the coming year.
BOE agenda, click here: BOE Agenda 9-3-13
Resume, contracts and more, click here: Contracts, social media policy, student cafe policy
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