Baldwin to be appointed as superintendent of schools

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Suffield - posted Fri., Jun. 3, 2011
Suffield superintendent finalist Karen Baldwin. Photos By Greg Scibelli.
Suffield superintendent finalist Karen Baldwin. Photos By Greg Scibelli.

The Suffield Board of Education is expected to name Karen Baldwin as the new superintendent of schools when the board convenes at its next meeting.

“I expect it to be a positive decision,” said BOE Chairman Mary Roy. “We had a full consensus to choose her to be our next superintendent.”

The consensus led to a community reception held June 2 by the Board of Education to allow Baldwin to meet with the community and interact with students and teachers in the Suffield schools.

Baldwin said she is looking forward to the opportunity to serve the people of Suffield, and said the unique process selected by the Board of Education further enhanced her interest in working for the district.

“It’s obvious through the community forums the board held that people really care and are invested in this community,” said Baldwin. “Suffield has a rich tradition and they value education here.”

Roy said the process chosen, which included an outside contractor for human resource services and also the community forums, was an approach taken by the BOE in order to ensure a different process was used.

“Unfortunately, we have lost our last two superintendents due to some controversy,” said Roy. “We wanted to make sure this time that we tried something different to get the best result possible. We were conscious of what has happened in the past.”

Roy believes Baldwin is the best choice for the school district.

“We’re pretty proud of the process we utilized, and we are very lucky she [Baldwin] applied,” said Roy. “We expect her to do very well here in Suffield.”

While her appointment must still be formalized, Baldwin spent the day in the district, attending a concert at one school and the Civil War Day performed at McCallister Intermediate School. She then took part in several receptions held at Suffield High School.

Baldwin comes from the Watertown school district, where she served as superintendent of schools. She worked to transform an underperforming school to a school that has developed a vision of high standards and success for all students.

She wants to “hit the ground learning,” and work with the BOE to come up with a shared vision of the direction Suffield schools should be taking. She wants to come up with a method of governance that is in line with the BOE.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with the BOE and the Suffield community to strengthen the reputation of the school system,” Baldwin said, “and to build a system that prepares all children to learn, lead, and live in our complex global society.”

Baldwin’s resume includes four years at Watertown, one year as an assistant superintendent in Wethersfield, four years as the Wethersfield schools’ director of human resources, three years as assistant principal at the middle school in Wethersfield, and time as a department supervisor in the West Hartford school district.

She holds a doctorate from the University of Hartford and also has taken the executive leadership program from the University of Connecticut.

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