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New London - Now that it has voided its appointment of Terrence P. Carter as the superintendent of the city's schools, the Board of Education finds itself back at square one, without a permanent superintendent to guide the district's transformation into the state's first all-magnet school district.
But board President Margaret Mary Curtin said Friday she does not want to waste any time in getting started on finding a new leader for the city's school district.
"Whatever options we have, I'd like to grab on to them quickly," she said. "I'd like to start something very soon."
Curtin said she plans to talk with the other board members and state-appointed Special Master Steven J. Adamowski early next week to chart a course for a new search.
Though she would not say how she thinks a new search should differ from the one that yielded Carter, Curtin did say she would be open to conducting a search without the assistance of a consulting firm.
"We probably won't need a search firm," she said. "I think we probably can do it ourselves with the information we have. We may look at some candidates who applied in (the) past that we had interviewed."
One thing is certain, though: the state Department of Education does not expect Commissioner Stefan Pryor or his replacement to interview or approve the board's chosen candidate, a spokeswoman said Friday.
"Special Master Adamowski will continue to serve as the department's representative to help support the local board and school district in realizing its vision for New London's schools," Kelly Donnelly, the spokeswoman, said in an email. "We do not anticipate that the commissioner will have a direct role in the selection process."
Carter's certification on hold
Donnelly also said Carter's application to become a certified superintendent in this state remains on hold because he no longer is being offered a job as a superintendent.
"If Terrence Carter still wishes to proceed with the (certification) process in the absence of a job offer in this state, we will take the findings of this just-received report into account as we consider all factors pertaining to his application," she said.
On Thursday night, the Board of Education voted unanimously to annul its appointment of Carter after its attorneys concluded that he misused the title of "Dr." before he completed his doctoral studies, plagiarized sections of his job application and did not disclose that he had filed for bankruptcy in 1999.
"They took it step by step and proved that we were not told the truth," Curtin said Friday. "They did a thorough investigation and they disputed everything that Terrence Carter has denied."
After Thursday's meeting, board Vice President Elizabeth Garcia-Gonzalez said the board would conduct future superintendent searches differently than the one it just went through.
"We learned a lesson," she said.
Curtin agreed with Garcia-Gonzalez and said that the experience the board has gone through can serve as a cautionary tale for other boards.
"I think it's a good lesson for everyone, not just New London," she said. "We were guided by info we had in front of us, we took all the information given to us from the (McPherson and) Jacobson firm and from the state Department of Education, put it all on the table, digested it and 12 of us, not just one person, interviewed candidates and came up with Terrence Carter."