UPDATE: Sparrow withdrawns nomination; Mayor Bronin Nominates Another New BOE Member

UPDATE: President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Hartford, Harold Sparrow, withdrew his nomination to the Hartford’s school board amidst controversy sparked by anti-gay-marriage statements made by a group he was executive director of ten years ago.

Today, Mayor Bronin announced another candidate to replace Sparrow, Kim Oliver.

The Hartford Courant has the story: here’s a link

Also, here’s the press release from Mayor’s Office announcing the new appointee:

“Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin today announced that he is nominating Kim Oliver to serve on the Board of Education.  The nomination is subject to approval by the City Council.

“Kim Oliver will be a tremendous addition to the Board of Education,” Mayor Bronin said.  “Kim has been a key part of my administration’s efforts to strengthen youth engagement and workforce development. By serving on the Board of Education, Kim will also serve as a crucial link between the Hartford Public School system and the Department of Children, Families, Youth and Recreation – just as her predecessor, Dr. Jose Colon-Rivas, did.  I’m proud to nominate Kim.”

Ms. Oliver is the Director for the City of Hartford’s Department of Family, Children, Youth and Recreation.  Before joining the City of Hartford, she served as the Director of Youth Services at Capital Workforce Partners, providing leadership and oversight for youth workforce development. In this role, she partnered with government, employers, service providers, philanthropy, and other stakeholders to provide in-school, at risk, and out-of-school youth (ages 14 to 24) learning opportunities in career competencies, occupational skills, and work experiences.

She also served as the Director of Hartford Opportunity Youth Collaborative and partners with the Aspen Institute, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, employers, service providers, philanthropic organizations, and other key stakeholders to implement a comprehensive plan that integrates education, youth development, and workforce development systems. The Hartford Opportunity Youth Collaborative addresses the needs and challenges of 6,300 “Opportunity Youth” — young workers (ages 16-24) who do not have a high school diploma or who have a diploma but are not in school and not working — and successfully reconnect them to education and employment.

Born and raised in Hartford, Ms. Oliver attended Thomas Snell Weaver High School in Hartford, graduating as a Jacob & Lewis Fox Foundation Scholar. She received a B.A. degree in Economics from Yale University and an M.A. in Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a member of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals.

“As a graduate of Hartford Public Schools, I am honored and deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve the children of Hartford and their families in this capacity,” said Kim Oliver.  “I look forward to working with the other members of the Board to support policies and allocate resources in a way that best serves students and families in Hartford. We all succeed when we ensure that every child in Hartford has access to a high quality education that sets them up for success in college, career, and life.”


Hartford’s school board — a lot like Bridgeport’s was — has been left short-handed for awhile. Since September, the board has had two vacancies: One when appointed board member Jose Colon-Rivas resigned over the summer, and then another vacant when elected Democrat Beth Taylor left her seat in the Fall.

Today, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announced that he was nominating Harold Sparrow, the CEO of YMCA of Greater Hartford to one of those vacancies.

Press release from Mayor’s Office:

HARTFORD, CONN. (Jan. 26, 2017)

“I am proud to appoint Harold Sparrow to the Board of Education.  Harold has dedicated much of his professional life to developing young minds and has thought deeply about education.  He also brings extensive experience in organizational leadership and management,” Mayor Bronin said.  “I believe that Harold will be a strong addition to the Board, and I look forward to working with him and with the other members of the Board as we look to set a new course for Hartford’s schools, under the leadership of a new superintendent.”

Mr. Sparrow has been the President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Hartford since 2015.  Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President of Operations at the YMCA of Greater Boston and was formerly the CEO of the Black Ministerial Alliance.  He holds a BA from Tufts University and a Master of Education from Cambridge College.  While in Boston, he was actively engaged in a number of education-related activities, including serving as a Trustee of two schools and a children’s museum and as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Afterschool Programs and Funding. Since 2009, he has been a Senior Fellow at The Institute for Non Profit Leadership and Management at Boston University. As a result of his leadership, he was presented with the African-American Achievement Award by Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be asked to serve on the Hartford Board of Education and look forward to contributing towards the success of our Capital City’s children, youth and families,” Harold Sparrow said.”

For more on this Hartford Courant Reporter Vannessa De La Torre has an overview: Here’s a link

What do you think?

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