June 6, 2006
By RACHEL GOTTLIEB, Courant Staff Writer
Hartford's school board voted unanimously Monday to hire Jacqueline J. Jacoby as interim superintendent of schools.
Jacoby, a former finalist for appointment as commissioner of the state Department of Education and a superintendent of Glastonbury schools for 10 years, will take a leave from her job as chairwoman of the education department of the University of New Haven to begin her assignment in Hartford later this week.
"I consider it a privilege - a real opportunity," Jacoby said after the meeting. Then she pulled out her list of priorities for her first months on the job - summer school; the massive program to include special education students in mainstream classrooms; safety and security; and filling vacancies.
There are currently 125 vacancies for teachers and three vacancies for principals. To fill the teaching vacancies, Jacoby said that she intends to recruit some of her students from the University of New Haven.
Mayor Eddie A. Perez, chairman of the school board, said that he will meet with Jacoby this morning to work out the final details of her contract. The board expects her to stay on for about six months. The goal, Perez said, is to select a new superintendent by the middle of August and to have that superintendent in place in December.
Jacoby said that she doesn't plan to overhaul the school system during her brief tenure.
"I'm going to try to continue the good work that's been done and put another layer on."
The board met for several hours in executive session to discuss Jacoby before it voted Monday. Her name surfaced last week as the choice of the board's officers, although the board had not publicly indicated any intention to hire an interim superintendent.
Perez said that he worked with the board's officers - the secretary and vice chairwoman - to select Jacoby. "We as the officers arrived at the decision," Perez said. "The officers helped me make my decision, but we didn't have a meeting."
Superintendent of Schools Robert Henry will work with Jacoby this week to help her get acclimated and to ensure a smooth transition. It is not yet clear when Henry will leave Jacoby on her own. His contract expires at the end of the month.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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