The Board of Education has narrowed “a very strong field of superintendent candidates” to one finalist — and she does not come from very far away. Dr. Colleen Palmer is currently Weston’s Superintendent of Schools. Last month, she was named Superintendent of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.
In a press release this morning, the board says:
As is a common practice in superintendent searches, the Board of Education announces the finalist in order to plan a site visit with the selected candidate. At the site visit, members of the board and other school officials will meet in small groups with selected school officials, staff and parents in Weston. The appointment of Dr. Palmer also will be subject to a third party independent background check and the finalization of contract terms. The Board is confident in its selection and fully expects the rest of the process to go smoothly.
Since July 2008, Dr. Palmer has been a superintendent in two Fairfield County communities: first in Monroe and then in Weston. Dr. Palmer also is an experienced high school principal, having served in that role at Nonnewaug, Hamden and Simsbury High Schools. In addition, Dr. Palmer served as Deputy Executive Director of the Capital Regional Education Council. Her extensive career in education began in the classroom as a high school math teacher.
Dr. Palmer has a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Connecticut. She also received a certificate in executive leadership from UConn and a master’s degree in K-12 counseling from Southern Connecticut State University. Her undergraduate degree in mathematics education is from the University of Connecticut.
To help conduct the search for a new superintendent, the Board hired Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, a national educational search firm. Three HYA consultants, John Chambers, Deborah Raizes and Gary Richards, met with members of the staff and community to develop the criteria that guided the search. National advertising and recruitment were conducted. Applications were received from a broad range of states, including California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Utah. The Board conducted interviews with four semifinalists, narrowed the field, and then interviewed finalists before deciding upon Dr. Palmer.
Dr. Palmer is a visionary academic leader who will bring an unwavering focus to our mission of reaching the potential of each child. We are thrilled that she wants to bring her tremendous skill set and experience to Westport.
We anticipate making the official appointment in January. Thank you for all of your engagement and support during the superintendent search.
Dr. Palmer would replace Dr. Elliott Landon. The long-serving superintendent will retire at the end of the current school year.