Published March 12. 2013 4:00AM
Groton - The Board of Education closed a tumultuous chapter in school district history Monday by officially firing former Superintendent Paul Kadri.
The school board, without making any comments, voted unanimously to accept the March 5 decision of independent arbitrator Timothy Bornstein, who ruled that Kadri's behavior toward district employees was grounds for termination.
Kadri was accused of belittling, harassing and bullying behavior by numerous school employees, driving some to tears and others to flee the school system. Kadri, who hasn't worked in the system since the school board placed him on leave in May, has denied those claims but had agreed to accept the decision of the arbitrator following a hearing.
He is now permanently barred from school district property.
School Board Chairwoman Kirsten Hoyt said Monday's vote was probably not needed, but was recommended by the district's attorney.
The school board, which convened into a closed door personnel meeting Monday night, is expected to start discussions about the how to proceed with the search for a new superintendent.
"It's time for our district to heal and move forward," said Beth Horler, president of the Groton Education Association, a union representing 455 teachers.
Horler urged the school board to "do the right thing," and include the stakeholders in the search and interview process for the new superintendent. She gave credit to faculty and staff for keeping their focus on education over the past 10 months.
"We got to work despite the tension and drama elsewhere," she said.
The school board is expected to put together a committee for the search that will include parents, administrators and school faculty, something similar to what was in place when the board hired John Ramos as interim superintendent in September.
Ramos, who has a contract until June, has not indicated whether he would seek the permanent position.
From 2005 to 2011, Ramos was the school superintendent in Bridgeport, the state's second-largest school district. Ramos has said he left by "mutual agreement," during a time when the school system's school board was dissolved in favor of a state-appointed board.