The Naugatuck school board voted Monday during a special meeting to authorize board Chair Dave Heller to sign a contract with former Bridgeport Superintendent Jim Connelly, who is expected to serve as interim school chief for much of this year.
Connelly, 72, is set to begin working on Sept. 30 if he agrees to the terms of a contract put forth by Human Resource Director John Lawlor this week. The board made a few minor adjustments to Connelly’s proposed contract during an executive session meeting Monday, and Connelly must agree to them before he begins working in Naugatuck.
The contract states that Connelly will start on Monday, Sept. 30, and continue to serve in the district until June 30, 2014. Heller said the new school board, which will be elected on Nov. 5, will begin a new search for a full-time superintendent. If board members find a suitable full-time replacement this school year, that person could possibly replace Connelly, who will be paid on a per diem basis. Connelly will not be a candidate for the full-time superintendent job.
Per his contract, Connelly will be paid $625 a day split up between regular pay and an annuity. He will not receive health insurance benefits. The contract is a standard pay rate for interim superintendents across the state.
The contract that the board is attempting to execute with Connelly is mirrored after a recent pact Connelly had with the Oxford, CT, school system, where he served as interim superintendent of schools twice.
He served as superintendent in Bridgeport for 17 years before retiring in 2000. Since then, he has had nine assignments as an interim. On top of Oxford, he has served in Killingly once, Putnum twice, Montville once, Woodbridge once and Region 16 (Prospect and Beacon Falls) twice.
“The goal of an interim is to actually administer the district between the outgoing superintendent and the new person coming in,” he told Patch. “The goal is to have continuity to make sure that leadership is given to all normal educational functions that occur during that time. I’m not coming in with a new reform plan; there is no hidden agenda.”
That said, if something happens that needs his attention, Connelly will act accordingly in conjunction with other administrators and possibly the Board of Education if necessary.
Heller said: “I hope that he will continue to improve upon programs that are in place and to provide the necessary guidance and leadership to our building administrators and our assistant superintendent and play a role in our new teacher evaluations, as well as Common Core standards."