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Norwalk Schools Chief May Take Leave

NORWALK, Conn. — Superintendent Susan Marks is thinking about taking a leave of absence to attend to family matters. On Friday afternoon, Marks released a statement confirming the possibility but wanted to dispel rumors that she is planning to leave the district permanently.  "I would like to clarify what has been out in the media regarding the superintendent of schools taking leave of absence," Marks said in the statement. "I am contemplating taking a leave of absence to take care of family concerns.

Marks did not specify the duration of her leave or when it would start. "I will be finalizing what I will intend to do over the next week. At that time, I will communicate to Mr. Jack Chiaramonte my timeline for any leave of absence. I would like to acknowledge all the Board of Education members for their understanding and support during this time."

Board Chairman Jack Chiaramonte confirmed that Marks' leave is for "personal matters" and that he could not comment on it further. "There is no conspiracy here," he said referring suggestions in the Norwalk Hour that her leave may be permanent. On Thursday evening, The Hour newspaper reported the possibility of  Marks' leave, based on comments by Mayor Richard Moccia.

Last month, the Norwalk Board of Education extended Marks' employment contract for a year. The board also recently evaluated Marks, praising her community outreach and gains in student achievement but recommending an improved budget process.

On Monday, Marks said she plans to present a state Department of Education report that will highlight progress Norwalk schools have made over the past five years.

"As I make this decision, we will have business as usual and continue to work on behalf of our students and families," she said.

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