Top Hartford School Official Leaving For Baltimore
But No Word On Replacement For Chief Operating Officer
By VANESSA DE LA TORRE
June 20, 2012
HARTFORD — — School administrators say they are not searching for a new chief operating officer to replace Victor De La Paz, who will be leaving soon for a top post in Baltimore.
De La Paz, 35, joins the reform-minded Baltimore school system next month as its chief financial officer. His resignation from Hartford is effective July 6.
"We will miss Mr. De La Paz very much," schools spokesman David Medina said in a statement. "In his time at Hartford Public Schools, he contributed greatly to our district's reform agenda."
Medina added that there is no search for his replacement "at the moment," and would not elaborate on who might take over De La Paz's responsibilities, which include overseeing student transportation, the school choice process, buildings and grounds, nutrition services and security.
"No decision has yet been made on how to proceed with the chief operating officer's position," Medina said Wednesday.
De La Paz served as deputy chief financial officer before his October promotion to chief operating officer under Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. He joined the city school system in 2008 as a special assistant to former Superintendent Steven Adamowski, an assignment through the national Broad Residency program that aims to develop leaders for urban schools.
In an interview last year, De La Paz, who grew up poor in New Jersey, said he initially aspired to be an investment banker. Warren Buffett was his idol. After graduating from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business in 2003, De La Paz worked in mergers and acquisitions for the insurance world in Hartford, still looking for a chance at "beating the market."
But in his spare time, De La Paz read to city students and mentored high schoolers through volunteer programs, and "I did that as much as I could until I felt like it wasn't enough and I had to make it my career."
De La Paz said his analytical approach to the market has carried over to his work in education.
"How do you recreate a model that has historically been a failing one? How do you reengineer that? What levers do you pull?" De La Paz said. "The student is the client."
Another senior administrator, Penny MacCormack, left Kishimoto's central office in October to become the assistant commissioner and chief academic officer for the New Jersey Department of Education.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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