New Haven Board of Education Searching for New Superintendent of Schools

The New Haven Board of Education is still looking for the next superintendent eight months since the former head of the school district stepped down.

This week the Board of Education sent out a district wide email announcing the superintendent search.

As that search gets underway, Jane Rivers said her family will soon start looking for a school for her daughter, Naomi, to attend kindergarten in the fall of 2018. Rivers said she hopes her daughter will enroll in New Haven’s Edgewood Magnet School.

“I’d like to see somebody who’s got extensive experience in education,” Rivers said about what she wants in the next superintendent. “Someone who has taught, I would hope, seven to eight years and preferably many of those years in public schools.”

Garth Harries left the superintendent job on Nov. 1

Back in the fall, Mayor Toni Harp, who is one of nine Board of Education members, told NBC Connecticut she hoped the position would be filled by July 1.

“I wish that they had started the search a little bit earlier and I hope they don’t rush into making a decision,” Rivers said.

NBC Connecticut reached out to the entire Board of Education for comment on the search.

“This board will make a decision which is not based on some made up deadline,” search committee chair Darnell Goldson said in an email. “Instead we include as many stakeholders as possible and will be deliberate in our process. We will not be rushed. This decision will affect a generation of children.”

The Board of Education agreed to pay Harries through June 30, on top of the salary for interim Superintendent Dr. Reginald Mayo.

“I’m sure there are better ways to use those funds,” Rivers said.

Jamell Cotto is a parent of two high school students in New Haven schools.

“I think Garth made a great superintendent,” Cotto said. “I do think that there were some personal things that should never have gotten in the way.”

Cotto is running for a Board of Education seat in a November primary against Dr. Ed Joyner.

“I’ve sat around most of my adult life and watched the shenanigans of politics dwarf the mission of the Board of Education,” Cotto said.

Cotto also wishes the superintendent search began sooner and he agrees with Rivers.

“I really hope that the search is public and that we, parents and citizens have some input,” Rivers said.

Goldson said in his email that Mayo agreed to stay on a little longer.

The next chance for parents and teachers to weigh in on the superintendent search is at Monday evening’s 5:30 Board of Education meeting at the Beecher School.

Joyner did not reply to NBC Connecticut’s request for comment for this story.

Below is the email sent out about the superintedent search:

Lisa Mack
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