Hartford Schools Looking To Fill 11 Principal Jobs
Kinsella Magnet Among City Schools With Vacancies
By VANESSA DE LA TORRE
June 01, 2012
HARTFORD— — The academic year may be waning, but not the workload for the schools' talent management office.
The city's 46 schools currently have 11 principal openings for 2012-13.
Schools spokesman David Medina described the turnover as typical for Hartford and characterized the latest batch of vacancies as "a combination of promotions, retirements, resignations and filling positions that have been held by acting or interim principals with permanent appointees."
Several schools are close to hiring a new leader, while two are barely getting on track.
The school governance councils at the Latino Studies Academy at Burns, Parkville Community School, Classical Magnet School, Great Path Academy at Manchester Community College, and Hartford Public High School's Engineering and Green Technology Academy have already recommended candidates to Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, Medina said.
At Noah Webster Magnet School, where Principal Dee Cole is transitioning to become Hartford's "school quality officer" effective July 1, the governance council of parents, staffers and community members has scheduled interviews on Monday.
Clark, SAND and M.D. Fox schools are also in the process of considering candidates, Medina said.
At the Journalism and Media Academy and the Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts, the search process has just begun. Chief Talent Officer Jennifer Allen was unavailable for comment Friday.
In Kinsella's case, Principal Pamela Totten-Alvarado recently submitted paperwork for retirement. She notified Kishimoto in a one-line email sent May 15, less than a month after a Courant story detailed several expenses that Totten-Alvarado charged on her city purchasing card. Among them was a $150 Coach gift card on Sept. 26 from the upscale handbag store at Westfarms Mall in Farmington.
Totten-Alvarado explained the expense as "gift to parent for serving on SGC," according to a copy of the receipt. Parent participation on a state-mandated school governance council is expected to be a volunteer role.
Her city purchasing card was revoked last year after finance officials completed a review of her purchases and flagged multiple items, according to a source familiar with the review.
Totten-Alvarado declined to comment when reached Friday. She was appointed to Kinsella in 2003 after serving as principal of Betance Elementary School. Her last day is June 30.
Medina responded that "we do not speculate on why employees choose to retire" when asked whether Totten-Alvarado's retirement is related to problems with the purchasing card.
There have been at least 40 principal changes in the Hartford school system since 2006, including eight appointments last year, Medina said. Candidates recently endorsed by the school governance councils could be approved at the board's next regular meeting in late June.
Courant staff writer Jenna Carlesso contributed to this report.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at