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Norwalk Picks Ex-Resident Manuel Rivera As School Superintendent

Manuel J. Rivera, an education consultant and former superintendent of the Rochester, N.Y. school system, has been chosen to run Norwalk's schools, beginning July 18.
Manuel J. Rivera, an education consultant and former superintendent of the Rochester, N.Y. school system, has been chosen to run Norwalk's schools, beginning July 18. Photo Credit: Norwalk Public Schools

NORWALK, Conn. – Manuel J. Rivera, a New London-based education consultant and former Norwalk resident, has been chosen as the city’s next school superintendent, the Board of Education announced Monday.

Rivera served as superintendent of the Rochester, N.Y., school system from 2002 to 2007, and he was New York’s deputy secretary of education from 2007 to 2008.

Currently, he is the CEO of Believe to Achieve International in New London, a nationally recognized education consultancy.

“Mr. Rivera is no stranger to Norwalk,” board Chairman Mike Lyons said in a statement. “He lived in Norwalk for many years, and his children attended Silvermine, West Rocks and Norwalk High Schools – one of his daughters graduated with the Class of 2004 at NHS.”

According to Lyons, Rivera is slated to begin his new job July 18, pending final approval by the school board at its July 9 meeting.

Rivera is a graduate of Brandeis University with a degree in urban studies. He later received his master's and doctorate degrees in education from Harvard University.

“We believe that he will bring to his superintendency all the talents and values the board – and the Norwalk community – looked for in our lengthy search,” said Lyons.

The district began its search for a superintendent to replace Susan Marks, who resigned last summer,  earlier this year. It worked with Illinois-based search company PROACT. The process included conducting community meetings and outreach efforts to parents and residents during the winter.

In a statement through the board, Rivera said he is “very knowledgeable” about Norwalk and enjoyed living in the community.

“We are happy to welcome him back, and excited to have him take the helm of the Norwalk Public Schools,” said Lyons.

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