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Weston School Chief Named Finalist For Westport Superintendent Job

Weston Superintendent Colleen Palmer has been named the finalist for the position of superintendent of Westport Public Schools.
Weston Superintendent Colleen Palmer has been named the finalist for the position of superintendent of Westport Public Schools. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. -- Weston Superintendent Colleen Palmer has been named the finalist for the position of superintendent of Westport schools, the Westport Board of Education announced Wednesday.

The Westport Board of Education began its search for a new superintendent after current Superintendent Elliott Landon announced that he would retire at the end of the 2015-16 school year. The district hired a search firm this summer, and the list of candidates has now been narrowed down to Palmer.

"We interviewed highly acclaimed candidates from different states, and Dr. Palmer was the clear choice to take our already-thriving school district and build on that success for the next generation of Westport students," said Michael Gordon, chair of the Board of Education. "She is a visionary academic leader who will bring an unwavering focus to our mission of reaching the potential of each child. We are thrilled that she wants to bring her tremendous skill set and experience to Westport."

The board will next plan a site visit with Palmer, where members of the board and other school officials will meet in small groups with selected school officials, staff and parents in Weston. Her appointment as superintendent will also be subject to a third party independent background check and the finalization of contract terms.

Last month, Palmer was named Superintendent of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents. Since 2008, she has worked as superintendent in two Fairfield County districts, first in Monroe and then in Weston. She began her career as a high school math teacher, and has also worked as a principal at Nonnewaug, Hamden and Simsbury High Schools, as well as serving as Deputy Executive Director of the Capital Regional Education Council.

Palmer has a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Connecticut, where she also received a certificate in executive leadership and her undergraduate degree in mathematics education. She received her master's degree in K-12 counseling from Southern Connecticut State University.

"Throughout the search, we have had exceptionally high standards for the next superintendent, and Dr. Palmer stood out even among a very accomplished field," said Jeannie Smith, vice chair of the board. "She has the desire and ability to build strong relationships with all of our school stakeholders. As our district further integrates social and emotional learning into the curriculum, Dr. Palmer will lead by example."

The Board of Education anticipates making the official appointment of a new superintendent in January.

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