Bridgeport Board Of Education Appoints New Interim Superintendent

It looks like the Bridgeport Board Of Education is capable of agreeing on something — yesterday evening the school board met as a nine-member panel for the first time in months for a special board meeting, where they unanimously voted to appoint Aresta Johnson to the position of interim superintendent.

Johnson, a Waterbury native who started her career as a teacher in the Brass City, is currently the Director of Secondary Education. She will be taking over for Interim Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz who resigned from her post several months ago in protest against board member Maria Pereira.   

For more information here’s an excerpt from Connecticut Post’s Linda Lambeck on the new interim superintendent:

“A contract has not yet been finalized but it is expected Johnson will start next week.

“She is familiar with what Fran has established,” Bradley said. “The idea is to have someone in there that is going to keep pushing the work forward.”

“She’s there. She’s intelligent. She’s capable,” Sauda Baraka, a board member, said. Every time she presents before this board she presents very professional and polished.”

Johnson, a former pharmaceutical chemist who started her teaching career in Waterbury, first came to the district as a director of science in 2005. She would go on to be director of Central Magnet School and then principal at Central High School before leaving the district when Paul Vallas was superintendent.”

You can read the full article here.

Courtroom Drama Not Over

While the appointment of a new interim superintendent is a good sign the district may be moving forward, Bridgeport’s ensuing school board drama isn’t quite over yet.

So far, the school board has yet to meet for a regular meeting since September 12th. The boycott was started by four board members, led by the school board chair Dennis Bradley.

According to boycotting members, the purpose of the boycott is to protest fellow board member Maria Pereira’s behavior toward Superintendent Rabinowitz, then recently appointed board member Annette Segara-Negro, and members of staff.  They’re refusing to meet until Pereira resigns — an unlikely proposition.

On the same day the boycott was called, Pereira filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging that Mayor Joseph Ganim illegally appointed new members to the board.

In October, Superior Court Judge Barabra Bellis ruled in favor of the city, however, Pereira has since filed an appeal of that decision.

While no court date has been set yet, this latest development means things are still uncertain.

For more on this, here’s past coverage:

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