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Groton to hire interim school superintendent during Kadri inquiry

By Chuck Potter

Publication: The Day

Published May 22. 2012 4:00AM
Board urged to pick a candidate 'you trust, someone with no skeletons'

Groton - The Board of Education will hire an interim superintendent of schools to oversee the district during the investigation of the current superintendent, Paul Kadri, who is on paid leave.

Following an executive session Monday, the board discussed qualities it would like to see in an interim leader and questions it would ask of candidates. They then heard from former Waterford Superintendent of Schools Randall Collins, who serves as a search consultant for Connecticut Association of Boards of Education and could also be a candidate for the interim position.

He told the board it should begin the search right away and have someone in place before the end of the school year. He said the interim superintendent needs time to get in the schools and attend events that take place before the end of the school year so he or she could meet stakeholders and develop a rapport with them.

"Your sole responsibility is to be sure the kids are served in a quiet calm environment, while you deal with the turmoil," he said.

The district is in the process of taking Fitch Middle school out of service, installing modular classrooms, abating asbestos and making other upgrades at West Side and Cutler middle schools. It is also redistricting the elementary school population and trying to resolve the complexities of racial imbalance in the elementary schools, including the Kolnaski magnet school.

As for interim candidates Collins suggested the board talk to people it is familiar with and who are familiar with the system.

"Generally it has to be someone you see as being able to rebuild relationships and establish stability within the district. It has to be someone you trust, someone with no skeletons," he said.

c.potter@theday.com

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