Newington superintendent retires months after fuel leak incident

Newington Superintendent Dr. William Collins is retiring (WFSB)

A shakeup at Newington schools.

After serving as superintendent for nearly a decade, Dr. William Collins tells Channel 3 he’s retiring.

This move comes on the heels of a costly and embarrassing fuel leak that went undetected for a year.

The superintendent says the fuel leak didn’t have anything to do with the announcement, but you can’t ignore the timing.

The site of the leak has seen a big improvement compared to a month ago.

A huge hole has been filled and all of the big trucks are out, but the consequences of this debacle could still be lingering.

Just a year into a three-year contract, Collins announced he is retiring.

“I think he was a good superintendent and he guided Newington well,” said Erica Paradis, a Newington High School junior.

Students say they’ll miss him, but this year, Collins endured the most scrutiny he’s ever seen in his nine-year career as superintendent.

It all stems from a fuel leak in a BOE tank that went undetected for a year.

It cost $2.5 million to repair and clean up.

If the state didn’t send a $1.5 million bailout, it would have been the Board of Education’s responsibility to pay for it.

Several officials and some in the public demanded that someone is held accountable.

“Maybe he just doesn’t want the stress of it because it’s going to fall on him so he’d rather not deal, I don’t know,” said Diana Delgaudio, a Newington parent.

In a phone interview, Channel 3 asked Collins if that controversy played a role in his abrupt decision, he said ‘no.’

Instead, Collins said, “I started my career in Newington and enjoyed every moment, loved the kids and will miss most parts of my job.”

Some parents were pleased with their children’s progress under Collins’ leadership, others feel it may be time for a change.

At the Board of Education meeting on Monday night, they named Pamela Muraca as interim superintendent.

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