The Norwalk Hour reports,
NORWALK — The Board of Education appointed Steven Adamowski as the next Superintendent of Schools in a close vote of 5-4.
With concerns of Adamowski’s certification to be superintendent, he will first serve as Acting Superintendent until requirements are fulfilled.
Dr. Adamowski received a waiver from the Commissioner of Education in 2007, which is unlimited in its application to either school districts or time,” said BOE Chairman Michael Lyons. “Based on that letter, both Dr. Adamowski and PROACT felt that he was qualified to serve as a superintendent.”
The waiver was issued to Adamowski when he served as superintendent of Hartford Public Schools. Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell was willing to accept the waiver but gave Adamowski the option to either use the waiver or fulfill the certification requirements to avoid controversy about his status, said Lyons.
Adamowski opted to fulfill the requirements.
Lyons said the same method was used two years ago to appoint Dr. Manuel Rivera, who had the qualifications for superintendent but needed a course in special education. Rivera later showed that he met the requirement from his previous experience and was granted certification in July 2013.
“Adamowski will serve as acting superintendent as of July 15, 2015 and then upon completion of certification requirements, he will become superintendent for a term of three years from July 15, 2015 to June 30, 2018,” according to a post resolution Lyons read Tuesday.
The four dissenting votes came from Democrats Sherelle Harris, Migdalia Rivas, Rosa Murray and Shirley Mosby.
“We spent a lot of money on a search firm to do a vetting. This was one of the requirements for certification that the applicants had. My question tonight is how did that slip through the cracks. How did we not see this coming?,” said Mosby.
Rivas stated that she didn’t hear about many of the allegations involving Adamowski until after the selection of Adamowski was made public. She suggested the Board should table the vote until the end of the week until the allegations were investigated.
Additional coverage can also be found at https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/, which began its “news’ coverage by writing,
NORWALK, Conn. – A new era of school reform in Norwalk was ushered in Tuesday by the slimmest of margins.
The Board of Education voted 5-4 to make Steven Adamowski its new superintendent of schools after a discussion dominated by those who had problems with the appointment.
Adamowski, sitting in the front row, got a good look at the behavior of Norwalk’s fractious Board in public, as Migdalia Rivas rambled emotionally for 10 minutes about hurt feelings, Shirley Mosby said she wouldn’t be a rubber stamp and Mike Barbis flashed anger as he called Mosby out for her face-making.
PROACT Search LLC
Meanwhile, the search firm that recommended Adamowski to Norwalk, PROACT Search LLC, continues under a cloud of suspicion due to its founder and CEO’s involvement in a $20 million no-bid contract in Chicago. Gary Solomon created and runs PROACT Search, the Supes Academy and Synesi Associates. Solomon previously served as Chairman of the Chicago Board of Education and a series of contracts between his companies and the Chicago School System and his firms are reportedly under investigated by the FBI. With the investigation growing, the CEO of Chicago’s school system who worked for some of Solomon’s company’s recently resigned.
PROACT was also fired last month by the school board in Lancaster, Pennsylvania when the local board of education “learned of disturbing allegations … that PROACT Search CEO Gary Solomon used racist slurs in some past emails.”
A number of other communities have terminated their contracts with PROACT in the wake of the Chicago allegations.
It remains unclear if members of the Norwalk Board of Education were fully informed about Adamowski’s involvement with Solomon and his companies.
Supes Academy lists Adamowski as one of its Past Teachers, Speakers & Advisors and the business tracking website ZoomInfo reports Adamowski is a “Board Member” of Supes Academy LLC.