Former congressman wades into New London superintendent flap
Former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons said he went to Lesley University last week to warn officials about troubled New London superintendent candidate Terrence P. Carter, who has said he would be receiving a Ph.D. from the Cambridge, Mass., university on Monday.
Simmons said in a phone interview Saturday evening that he has been following news stories about Carter’s questionable credentials and wanted to make sure university officials were aware of them. He said he emailed the university and called them, then stopped into the office of the university president on Wednesday while he was visiting his newlywed son and daughter-in-law in Boston.
“Lesley University wouldn’t tell me anything, and that’s a real problem,” Simmons said. “I explained to the school in an email and a phone call, and then a visit, that we have an applicant for superintendent of schools who has plagiarized the work of others and misrepresented his credentials.”
New London’s Board of Education appointed Carter as its new superintendent in June, and he moved from Chicago expecting to begin his tenure here on Aug. 1. The board postponed ratifying his contract and launched an investigation last month after The Hartford Courant and The Day reported he may have misrepresented himself as having a Ph.D. The Day also reported that Carter had twice filed for bankruptcy and that large portions of his application and cover letter contained material apparently copied from other sources without attribution.
The Board of Education is expected to complete its investigation this week. Meanwhile, school starts Monday with city native Richard P. Foye serving as interim superintendent.
Carter’s attorney Bill McCoy could not be reached to comment Saturday evening. Foye was also unavailable.
Simmons, a Republican from Stonington, served as U.S. congressman for Connecticut’s 2nd District from 2001 to 2006. His wife, Heidi Simmons, was a teacher in New London for 20 years.
“These kids deserve better than someone who can’t tell the truth about his credentials,” Simmons said. “We don’t need someone from Chicago to come in here and take a job when we’ve got hundreds of people in Connecticut who are qualified and have real credentials.”
Simmons said his wife and sister-in-law both attended Lesley, and he doesn’t want the school to damage its reputation. Simmons said he went to the university on his own and that his wife “had nothing to do with it.”
The president was not in, but Simmons said he spoke with the chief of staff and gave her copies of news stories about Carter, along with a cover letter.
Stories that may interest you
From the Whale's Tail in New London to Norwich's Artreach Inc., Make Music Day brought song and dance to Southeastern Connecticut on Monday.
Two Norwich Tech graduates are among 16 to have won full-ride, two-year scholarships from Dominion Nuclear Connecticut to attend Three Rivers Community College’s Nuclear Engineering Technology program starting in the fall.
Sankofa Education and Leadership Inc. hosted a year-end celebration last month to honor and recognize 24 high school students from Norwich who participated in a yearlong educational, enrichment and mentorship program sponsored by AT&T Foundation.
Dozens of students in the Griswold school district got to participate in an animal essay contest co-sponsored by the rescue organization All Paws on Deck and Centreville Bank that resulted in several winning $100 cash prizes, including sixth-grade winner Natasha Ali.