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Weston Appoints School Superintendent

Dr. Colleen A. Palmer, superintendent of schools in Monroe, has been picked to head the Weston Public Schools effective July 25. The Weston Board of Education made Palmer’s appointment at its meeting Monday.

Palmer has served Monroe’s superintendent since 2008.  During her tenure there, she implemented a district-wide system of accountability and created a school and district improvement team structure based on a performance management theory of action. Palmer overhauled Monroe's district system of accounting and budgeting, and shepherded the district through difficult budget years and long-standing fiscal concerns. Despite the difficult fiscal climate, she led the successful effort to significantly increase student performance, and Monroe was recognized by the College Board for outstanding AP scores and participation rates.

Palmer served as deputy executive director for the Capital Region Education Council (CREC) from 2004 to 2008. At CREC, she had direct supervisory responsibility for eight inter-district magnet schools and the Open Choice Program in the greater Hartford region. Open Choice provided court-mandated educational opportunities for 4,000 Capital region students. In addition, Palmer created the CREC Common Assessment Consortium and oversaw CREC’s Institute of Teaching and Learning, Technology Services, Community Education, and Technical Assistance/Brokered Services, Transportation, Interdistrict Grants, and Montessori Training Center of New England.

Prior to joining CREC, Palmer served in a number of administrative roles, including principal of Simsbury High School (2002-2004), principal and associate principal at Hamden High School (1997-2002) and principal and assistant principal at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury (1992-1997). Prior to becoming a school administrator, Palmer was a mathematics teacher and counselor/career counselor at Naugatuck High School (1986-1992) and a mathematics teacher at Colorado School for the Deaf.

Palmer holds a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics education from the University of Connecticut, where she graduated summa cum laude after completing her degree in three years and was named to Phi Beta Kappa. Palmer also holds a master of science degree in K-12 school counseling as well as her sixth-year degree in administration and supervision from Southern Connecticut State University. Palmer completed the Executive Leadership Program/Superintendent Preparation at the University of Connecticut, where she also received her Ph.D. in education administration.

In addition, Palmer was appointed by state education commissioner to serve as the superintendent representative to the Data Council; selected by the CT Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) to serve on the State Transformation Education Core Committee; named a member of the CAPSS Legislative and Federal Relations Committees; a member of the Yale University Arts and Sciences Human Subjects Committee, Education Specialist, reviewing all pertinent research from the College of Arts and Sciences; served on the Board of Achievement First, Hartford Academy Charter School; served as a representative with CT State Department of Education delegation to China. She is also a member of Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Educational Research Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the Connecticut Association of Schools.

"Following input from the Weston community, the Superintendent Search Committee engaged in a time- intensive and thorough process to recruit Weston's next superintendent. We are very fortunate to have found such a highly qualified, exceptional candidate to serve as superintendent for the Weston Public Schools. Dr. Palmer is an outstanding educational leader, and we are confident that she will lead the district's administration, faculty, staff, and students to even higher levels of achievement," said Philip Schaefer, chair of the Weston Board of Education and the Weston Superintendent Search Committee.

Dr. Palmer has three sons and four grandchildren.

What changes, if any, would you like to see Dr. Colleen Palmer make? Leave your comments below.

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