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Interim Superintendent To Take Over Stamford Schools In Wake Of Scandals

James A. Connelly
James A. Connelly Photo Credit: Stamford Public Schools

STAMFORD, Conn. — James A. Connelly is expected to be named the interim superintendent for the embattled Stamford schools when the Board of Education meets next Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Most recently, Connelly served as interim superintendent in Norwalk from January through July. In Stamford, Connelly’s contract will be effective starting Jan. 1, the Stamford Board of Education said in a statement Friday.

He will be meeting with Superintendent Winifred Hamilton during December to ensure a smooth transition.

“Mr. Connelly has served as interim superintendent in many Connecticut school districts,” Stamford school board President Jackie Heftman. “The board believes his broad experiences as superintendent, interim superintendent, and teacher give him the right skill set to lead Stamford Public Schools while we search for a new superintendent.”

When Hamilton announced earlier this year that she would retire, she cited many problems in the district, stemming from the arrest of a female teacher at Stamford High School  who is now serving five years in prison for having sex with the student and supplying him with marijuana throughout the 2013-14 school year. The principal and assistant principal were fired as part of the investigation.

Since retiring in 2000 as superintendent of the Bridgeport Public Schools, a position he held for 18 years, Connelly has served as an interim superintendent in several districts across the state. In addition to Norwalk, he worked as interim in Killingly, Putnam, District 16 of Prospect and Beacon Falls, Montville, Woodbridge, Oxford, and Naugatuck.

Before becoming superintendent in Bridgeport, Connelly served as both associate and assistant superintendent there. He also worked as director of Pupil Personnel Services in Berlin and as a special education teacher in Ridgefield, Greenwich, and Fairfield.

Connelly currently works with the New England School Development Council as an education consultant specializing in executive searches and has conducted more than 30 searches for superintendents and other school administrators.

Connelly holds a master of arts degree and professional diploma of advanced studies from Teachers College at Columbia University and a bachelor of science from Southern Connecticut State University.

The Stamford Public Schools has more than 16,000 students, over 1,500 professionals, and 20 schools, including six magnet and two International Baccalaureate schools. It has a total of 12 elementary schools, five middle schools and three high schools.

Read more about Hamilton's resignation here on the Daily Voice .

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