Norwalk Superintendent Search Committee Named

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NORWALK, Conn. – A 10-person committee will lead the Board of Education’s community outreach efforts in the search for a new school superintendent, board Chairperson Michael Lyons announced Wednesday.

The committee, which will work with the search firm PROACT Search, will be chaired by Norwalk Community College President David Levinson, and it will begin outreach efforts this month.

“This committee is designed to help the board do a thorough search and to reach out to all the various groups in Norwalk,” said Lyons, who compiled the group with the help of the board. In addition to community outreach, the committee will also help create a profile of the type of superintendent people want, which PROACT will use during the screening process.

The board hopes to have a new superintendent selected before the end of the current school year.

In addition to Levinson, the other members of the committee are:

• Emiley Aguilar, Ponus Ridge Middle School parent and co-founder of the school’s Governance Council

• Anthony Allison, program director, Norwalk Children’s Foundation

• Mike Barbis, Board of Education

• Harry Carey, Norwalk Chamber of Commerce

• Artie Kassimis, Board of Education

• Rhonda Kiest, executive director, Stepping Stones Museum

• Rosa Murray, Board of Education

• Novelette Peterkin, executive director, Carver Foundation

• Steve Scatamacchia, Norwalk Board of Realtors

Lyons’ goal was to create a committee that was reflective of the community, but board member Migdalia Rivas expressed some disappointment over the committee’s makeup.

“This is not a true representation of Norwalk in order to do a profile,” Rivas said. She said she found no fault with the people who were chosen, but she would have liked to see two additional positions to bring the committee to 12 members. Namely, she said she would like to see a member of the NAACP and a member of a Hispanic group added.

Lyons said adding more members could make the board unwieldy, and stressed that PROACT and the committee will be instructed to reach out to as many groups throughout the city as necessary.

“I think the committee is a good representation of the community,” Lyons said.

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Comments (8)

Mr. Todd, please me know when your childer reach middle school age... so you can begin to fight for those students and teachers. Please stop pitting school levels and parents against one another. Norwalk Needs Better

Agree that we need to find a new Superintendent who wants Norwalk compared to Westport, Darien, and such, get us out of this rut we've been in for so long. Oh, and the new superintendent should also have sharp elbows, not too nice.

Who decided the who would be on this committee?

I hope Tony Daddona is one of the top candidates. I agree that he is doing an excellent job.

Mike thanks for responding to my comments. I really hope this process will be open a little more then the last one was. I was at the "meet the new schools superintendent" at City Hall but by that time Dr. Marks (who I liked and very much & respect) was the only candidate and eventually hired. This is a HUGE crossroads for the city and especially the children. There are a lot of good things that are going on here and I really think Tony has done a fantastic job as a "temp". And that being said we need to take his and the rest of the board's passion with the community input and make sure we get this search right. I would truly like to have an opportunity to have multiple candidates almost like a debate forum and then receive community input. We really need to choose a leader, who can bring Norwalk to new levels of education seldom seen here Dr. Marks once told me we should be comparing ourselves to places like: Westport, Weston, Wilton, Fairfield. That should be our goal for Norwalk. When we need to strive to be the best and better not lower our expectations and that is what I want to see from our new superintendent.

We kept the search committee at a manageable size. The committee is not meant to the SOURCE of community input, but the manager of GATHERING community input. The committee and Proact will hold multiple sessions throughout Norwalk (mostly at Norwalk's middle schools), as well as on-line and paper surveys, etc., to get parental input. This will be an open processwith extensive outreach. Please at least give us a chance to move forward before beginning with the condemnations.

Just curious here, shouldn't their have been MORE parents and PTO involvement on this committee? The way I see it we have 1 middle school parent and the rest are some good BOE people. But why is the Director of Stepping Stones on the committee? We need at least 5 parents from all levels of schools...ESPECIALLY ELEMENTARY! This is supposed to be an open process with parent involvement, not a few chosen few...

I couldn't agree more!