New London school board names new superintendent

Terrence P. Carter
Terrence P. Carter Courtesy New London Public Schools

New London — The Board of Education on Thursday evening voted unanimously to appoint Terrence P. Carter of Chicago the next superintendent of the city’s school system.

Carter is currently the director and chief academic officer of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works as a division of the city school system to turn around poorly performing schools. Carter has been director and chief academic officer of the academy, which manages 29 Chicago public schools serving more than 17,000 students, since 2010.

A native of Miami, Fla., Carter will relocate from the Windy City to the Whaling City and take the reins at New London Public Schools on Aug. 1.

“I’m coming home to the East Coast to join the New London community in creating the best learning environment for our children,” Carter said in a statement. “I know from personal and professional experience that children who have dynamic teachers, school administration, significant instruction, extra-curricular experiences and high, no excuses expectations, do succeed.”

Carter, 49, holds a bachelor of arts degree from Rutgers University; master’s degrees in public health and social welfare from the University of California at Berkeley, and a doctorate in leadership and adult learning from Lesley University.

Carter was the unanimous choice of the 12-member superintendent search committee, which included all seven Board of Education members. All seven board members spoke enthusiastically Thursday about Carter and his qualifications.

“I find that his collaborative work ethic, his inclusiveness and his knowledge of the budgetary process will benefit the district,” Board of Education President Margaret Mary Curtin said. “His past experiences will fit in very well with our district’s magnet approach, and I have confidence that you will see our schools turnaround under his guidance and leadership.”

Before joining the Academy for Urban School Leadership, Carter was principal of Chicago’s Clara Barton Elementary School, which received an Illinois Academic Improvement Award for showing upward trends in test scores for at least three consecutive years.

He has also served on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Early Childhood Education Task Force.

“Dr. Carter has devoted his career to providing high performing, rigorous schools for urban children,” state-appointed Special Master Steven J. Adamowski said in a statement. “As an instructional leader he will be an asset to New London and Connecticut as our state continues to close the achievement gap by redesigning schools and systems of schools that enable all students to reach high standards.”

Adamowski said the board’s selection of Carter received “the enthusiastic concurrence” of state Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor.

As a condition of the state’s involvement in the city’s school system, the board’s candidate had to first be approved by Pryor.

Before becoming an educator, Carter was employed as chief learning officer of Flextronics International, a supply chain solutions corporation, and as vice president of human resources for The Baan Co., a global software developer.

Curtin said the board’s attorney and Carter’s attorney have begun contract talks. The final agreement must be approved by the Board of Education.

In April 2013, the previous Board of Education voted 6-1 to not renew the contract of Superintendent Nicholas A. Fischer, whose last day on the job will be June 30.

Curtin said the board has not yet decided if it will appoint an acting superintendent to run the school system between Fischer’s departure and Carter’s arrival.

Carter is expected to visit New London on July 2-3 to meet with city leaders, administrators, teachers, parents and community members.

“I need to meet with those groups to find out exactly what their perceptions and facts around New London Public Schools are and how we can work together to make it better,” he said in the statement.

c.young@theday.com

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