New Haven's superintendent to resign

Superintendent Garth Harries, New Haven Public Schools. (WFSB file photo)

New Haven's superintendent of schools will be stepping down at the end of the fall.

The New Haven Board of Education and Garth Harries said they mutually agreed that Harries' role as superintendent will end on Nov. 1, depending on the board's appointment of an interim.

A reason for the resignation has not been given, however mayor said the decision was amicable.

"There are times where there needs to be a parting of ways, this is one of those times," said Garth Harries. "I am leaving in order for the board to select new leadership to ensure that the leadership in the district is pulling in the same direction."In the agreement, Harries will be paid his full salary through the end of the academic year, which is close to $200,000.

"He did New Haven well and he was a wonderful superintendent, and we're going to miss him," said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, who serves as the school board chairperson as well.

She says the superintendent has brought positive change to the district, and added that test scores went up, graduation rates improved, and more kids were going to college under his leadership.

"The data was there, it proved it. But sometimes people look at things beyond data,โ€ Harp said.

Harries was also a defendant in six civil cases, two were filed this year, but Mayor Harp says those suits had nothing to do with their decision.

"Boards of education, public school systems always have suits. Cities have suits. All of our departments have suits. It really wasn't a factor,โ€ Harp said.

The board said it will announce the appointment of an interim superintendent as soon as possible.

It will also appoint a committee to conduct a search for a new one.

The board released a statement on Tuesday about Harries' impending departure:The Board of Education thanks Mr. Harries for his service to the New Haven school community. During his tenure as superintendent, Mr. Harries promoted student learning through a number of initiatives, including strengthening of early grade learning, expanding emphasis on restorative practices and other dimensions of social emotional learning and physical health, deepening the roles and opportunities for teacher collaboration and leadership, and implementing an intense focus on the most disengaged students and historically challenged schools. Through this and other work, the district has seen gains in graduation, college going, and smarter balanced test scores โ€“ as well as an increase in enrollment and balanced budgets. Mr. Harries and the Board of Education are committed to assuring a smooth transition of leadership to assure that the outstanding work of the staff and students of the New Haven Public Schools will continue.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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