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City Has Schools Choice

Jacoby Likely Interim Chief

June 1, 2006
By RACHEL GOTTLIEB, Courant Staff Writer

Jacqueline J. Jacoby, chairwoman of the University of New Haven school of education and former schools chief in Glastonbury, is expected to be named interim superintendent of schools in Hartford.

Jacoby, 68, retired two years ago as superintendent in Glastonbury after serving 10 years. Her employment with Glastonbury dates to 1979, when she was hired as director of elementary curriculum. She was then assistant superintendent for 11 years and deputy superintendent for three years.

It is unclear when Jacoby will start her new job. The board will meet in a special session Monday to vote on her appointment.

"Dr. Jacoby has a significant track record that has put 21st century learning front and center for both teachers and students," Eddie A. Perez, mayor and school board chairman, said in a statement. "As the superintendent in Glastonbury, she was in the forefront of improving student achievement and engaging youngsters by implementing early literacy, increasing Advanced Placement offerings, and promoting community service."

Robert Henry, whose resignation as Hartford's schools chief becomes effective at the end of June, will likely leave earlier. He said Wednesday that he expected to finish out the week, but not to work "too much beyond that."

Ada Miranda, chairwoman of the search committee for a new superintendent, said her committee hopes to have a short list of candidates for a permanent replacement by July and to offer the job by August. If the new hire works outside the district, they will likely need to give their own district a few months notice.

David Larson, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, praised Jacoby. But since her appointment is until the school board decides on a permanent replacement, Larson said Jacoby isn't likely to institute big changes.

"She's not being hired to come in there and turn the school system upside down," Larson said. "She's coming in to steer the school district to prepare for a brand-new leader and to keep it on an even keel. She's a listener. She's a good problem solver. She's very bright. She's very dynamic. She's very hard working. She'll be a great person to hold the ship of state steady for a while."

When Henry leaves, he will also create a vacancy on the school building committee. Hartford is several years into a $1 billion overhaul of most of its schools and the construction of magnet schools.

Hartford school board member Elizabeth Brad Noel said she worked with Jacoby for years as part of a group of education officials from five districts that created Two Rivers Magnet Middle School in East Hartford.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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