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Groton — The assistant superintendent of schools will leave June 30, after two years here, to fill a similar capacity in the Windsor school district.
Mary Ann Butler, who oversees curriculum and instruction for the Groton schools, has also been managing the district for the past two weeks, while Superintendent Paul Kadri has been on paid administrative leave during an investigation into his “interaction with, and treatment of, district employees.”
Butler, whose home and family are in Somers, said her departure is not connected to Kadri’s situation or her tenure working with him. She chose not speculate or comment on the situation.
“I’m surrounded by great people here,” she said with teary eyes. “We find reasons to laugh every day, and we make the best of the situation. They have been so supportive and showed confidence in me that I could get the job done.”
She said if the Windsor job appears to have come at just the right time, it is not because of the turmoil in Groton, but rather, “in the interest of domestic tranquility.”
She said her husband, a design engineer, was working in China for a long time, but is back home. She rents a house here and was excited to see an opportunity so close to her home, husband and two adult sons.
“I started this process in March,” she said reaching for a nearby box of tissues. “I saw an ad in the paper. It’s really bittersweet. It’s right for me, but with so many changes in the district, it’s difficult.”
Kirsten Hoyt, school board chairman, said Butler will be difficult to replace.
“We haven’t received her official notice yet, but she did accept their offer last night,” Hoyt said. “It’s a challenge. Once we’re done with the interim, we’ll get someone in central office for curriculum work this summer.”
Windsor Superintendent Jeffrey Villar, who just started in February, called Butler a friendly, charismatic person who works well with others.
He and Butler once worked together on a grant project while she worked for the State Department of Education for more than five years prior to coming to Groton.
“Mary Ann will bring strong interpersonal and collaborative skills and the precise skill set that is required for the position,” Villar wrote in a press release. “With her extensive background in the development of quality curriculum and assessments, I believe Windsor Public Schools will benefit greatly by the appointment.”
Doreen Richardson, president of Windsor’s school board, said Butler’s leadership skills and ability to implement a curriculum stood out in a competitive group of applicants.