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School Chief Leaves Positive Legacy

Weston residents will miss School Superintendent Jerome Belair when he leaves Feb. 4 to take the reins of the Waterford Public Schools.

"It was unexpected," Caroline Schreder, president of the Hurlbutt Elementary School PTA, said when she heard the news of Belair's resignation . "It's a total loss for the district. He's really gotten Weston on a good track in terms of curriculum review, the enrichment program and with technology improvements."

During Belair's tenure, school funding has decreased as state and local revenue have fallen. But Schreder said Belair has done well despite budget cuts. "It's easy to do a good job when money's plentiful," she said. "When budgets are tight, you have to be much more creative."

Details of Belair's position in Waterford are not known. As superintendent in Weston, Belair was earning $232,458 annually, after the Board of Education authorized a 9.5 percent increase in his salary this summer. The average salary for school superintendents in New England was $135,180 for the 2007-08 school year, according to the American Association of School Administrators. Belair could not be reached for comment.

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