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Familiar Face To Lead Stamford Schools

STAMFORD, Conn. — Winifred Hamilton will drop the “interim” from in front of her title when she becomes the permanent superintendent of Stamford Public Schools on July 1. The city’s Board of Education approved her appointment at its meeting Tuesday night.

“Students will always be first in my heart,” an emotional Hamilton said after the vote. Her experience as a coach will help her to bring people together for a common goal, she said. She also said she is always open to listening to others when it comes to determining what’s best for the kids in the school district.

“(Hamilton) has given us 365 days to try her out, and I think she has done a wonderful job,” board member Lorraine Olson said in endorsing Hamilton’s appointment. Throughout the search process, Hamilton always came out as the ideal candidate because she is familiar with the district and has experience as a teacher, Olson said.

Hamilton took over as acting superintendent and then interim superintendent after her predecessor, Joshua Starr, left last year to lead the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. Before becoming a member of the central office, Hamilton had served as principal at Dolan Middle School and as a physical education teacher at Dolan and Westhill High School for many years.

But her approval was not drama-free. Several board members did not feel a sufficient search for a new superintendent took place. It was not personal against Hamilton, they said, but about the search process that did not take place. However, once a vote to extend the search was turned down, all but board President Polly Rauh voted in favor of Hamilton.

“In football terms it would be called punting,” said Rauh , who abstained from the vote. She said she has been friends with Hamilton since their teaching days but said the full search should have taken place.

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