Hartford Names New Superintendent

The Hartford Board of Education met on Monday night at the STEM Magnet School at Annie Fisher to vote on a new leader for Hartford schools.

With eight in favor and one against, Hartford parents learned their next superintendent will be Dr. Beth Narvaez.

Board of Education Vice Chair Jose Colon-Rivas voted yes and said he appreciates Narvaez's strategy.

"Her holistic approach around assessment, her holistic approach about the alignment of all different sectors we have in the City of Hartford," Colon-Rivas said.

Narvaez is currently deputy superintendent of school support and improvement for one of Maryland's top school systems. She's a two-time Harvard graduate and also worked in the Springfield, Mass. Public Schools.

"I think we're bringing in a superb educational leader into the Hartford Public Schools, and I'm really looking forward to working with her," Colon-Rivas said.

The months-long search for a new superintendent began after the board decided not to extend former superintendent Christina Kishimoto's contract.

"[Narvaez] does have a lot of work ahead of her. There's a lot of needs," said Mayra Esquilin, a parent and a member of the search committee tasked with helping to find candidates. "We still have schools failing greatly, and there's lots of kids who need a better education."

There's a lot of hope the next leader of Hartford Public Schools can turn things around.

"We really need to have someone who can communicate with parents and residents in their community and let us know how we can work together," Esquilin said.

Narvaez will receive a salary of about $250,000 and a contract of no more than three years. She begins July 1.

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