Town Times Requester



BOE seeks community input on superintendent search

Even as schools opened Aug. 29 for students and business as usual, the Board of Education continued its search for a new superintendent. The board is seeking to replace Sue Viccaro, who left at the end of last school year for a position in Newburyport, Mass.

Although the BOE is required to function as a search committee, Chair Kerrie Flannagan said in the spring that the board would seek as much input from “stakeholders” as possible.

In order to do that, the BOE has urged residents of Durham and Middlefield to complete an on-line survey, accessible from the district’s website at, and to participate in focus groups being held for members of the public during the first week of September.

The goal of the survey is to form a “leadership profile.” According to the survey introduction, “The leadership profile will guide the committee in the recruitment and selection of the new school superintendent.”

The brief survey asks about matters such as relevant experience and skills for a superintendent candidate and contains space for write in answers. The survey will remain active until Sept. 6.

Focus groups were held during August for district employees. Other groups, such as school parents groups and Durham and Middlefield residents, are scheduled to meet from Sept. 3 to Sept. 5. Input from the focus groups will be gathered as notes and collected anonymously. The focus group schedule is also available on the district’s website.

According to the timeline, the BOE intends to conduct first interviews at the end of September and have a new superintendent by January. Dr. Ernest Perlini has been working as interim superintendent.

A different search committee will work on the search for Coginchaug Regional High School’s new principal to replace Andre Hauser, who left during the last school year for a position in Waterford. Donald Gates is serving as the interim CRHS principal until a replacement is found.

One administrative position was filled over the summer. Patrick Gustafson was hired as the new assistant principal at CRHS. Gustafson, a graduate of Curry College and Central Connecticut State University, has taught at the high school level in West Hartford and been an assistant principal in West Hartford and Farmington.

The BOE will hold its regularly scheduled meeting at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 11, at Korn Elementary School.

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