BRISTOL - The Board of Education has named Susan Moreau as the new superintendent, effective Nov. 1.
She replaces Ellen Solek, who will hold the position until Oct. 31. Moreau will serve as superintendent until her planned retirement on June 30, 2019.
Board Chairman Chris Wilson said the vote to promote Moreau was unanimous.
“Dr. Moreau has been a steady hand in senior leadership,” he said in a prepared statement. “She has modeled hard work, dedication and passion for the students of our district. Regardless of one’s circumstance, she is always inspiring and challenging our students, teachers and administrators.”
“We are fortunate to have Dr. Moreau as our leader as we transition the BPS to a permanent superintendent in July, 2019,” he said.
Moreau served as interim superintendent for two months in 2012, after Philip Streifer left the job May 1, 2012, and before Solek could officially take over on July 1 that same year.
Since joining the district in 1992, she has served as principal at the old Bingham Elementary School, director of teaching and learning, and currently as deputy superintendent. She is a Burlington resident.
“Dr. Moreau has been involved in all the major initiatives which are hallmarks of her efforts,” Wilson said. “She led the two building projects for West Bristol and Greene-Hills K-8 which resulted in the schools being built on time and under budget.”
“She has also led our district to be recognized for our accountability plans. She has been the lead administrator on K-8 redistricting. Her application for the Alliance Grant [state funding] was accepted by the state Department of Education and facilitated the expansion of all-day kindergarten,” Wilson said.
“She helped initiate the increase of Advanced Placement classes and college credit opportunities for our students. She has supervised food service and transportation in absence of a business manager who could perform those functions. She led the Board of Education response to the state citation of our racial imbalance problem in 2010,” he continued.
Solek released her own statement earlier this week, saying “It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as superintendent for the Bristol Public Schools and the Bristol community. I have had the opportunity to work with and to know so many very talented and wonderful people here and I will treasure those memories always.”
“I thank the Bristol Board of Education for the opportunity to lead this great district for the past five years and I am grateful for all of the ongoing support provided to the schools by the mayor and city officials. I wish all the best for the Bristol Public Schools and for the city of Bristol in the years ahead,” she concluded.
The board approved the agreement for Solek’s departure in executive session on Oct. 11. Wilson said it was a mutual agreement. Solek is leaving eight months before her contract expiration of June 30, 2018. This past June the board voted not to extend her contract beyond 2018.
The agreement says that now through Oct. 31 she will be paid at her 2017-18 base salary of $175,000 plus an annual $15,000 contribution to a tax sheltered annuity.
She will remain on the payroll through Jan. 31, 2018. The district will also continue her health insurance coverage through June 30, 2018. As of July 1, 2018, she will have the right to continue her health insurance coverage at her own expense as allowed by law. She will also receive four months worth of contributions to the Teachers’ Retirement Board as a lump sum of $9,000.
The agreement also specifies that the board members and Solek not make any disparaging comments about each other, apart from truthfully testifying in any legal proceedings.
Solek served as superintendent for just over five years. She took over the job from Streifer, who left to take a position with the University of North Carolina Fayetteville. Solek moved to town from Hamden and was previously superintendent in East Haddam for five years.
She came on board just as the district was going through a period of extensive change. With the end of the 2011-12 school year, the district shut down four aging schools, replacing them with the new West Bristol and Greene-Hills K-8 schools. The district went through an extensive citywide redistribution of students among the remaining elementary and middle schools as well as the new K-8s.
Solek also oversaw the district expanding its kindergarten program to full-day in the fall of 2014.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.