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What Kind of School Chief Does New Canaan Want?

NEW CANAAN,  Conn. – Monday will be a big day in New Canaan's search for its next school superintendent. That day, parents, students and school personnel will have their say on what kind of educator should lead the New Canaan Public Schools.

“We’d like to learn from as many people as possible about the issues and challenges and hear questions people have about the schools,” said Board of Education Chair Hazel Hobbs. “We want to hear what people think is important in terms of experience and background.”

The committee seeking a successor to David Abbey will have focus meetings with stakeholder groups throughout the day on Monday, starting with New Canaan High School students at 12:30 p.m. at the high school.

Other stakeholder sessions are as follows: administrators at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the high school; New Canaan High and Saxe seventh- and eighth-grade teachers, 2:30 p.m.; Saxe fifth- and sixth-grade teachers and elementary school teachers, 4 p.m.; non-certified staff, 5 p.m.; parents, 7 p.m. in the high school library.

A community-wide meeting on the search will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Saxe Middle School.

Hobbs said the forums will give residents a chance to lay out what they’re looking for in a schools chief along with discussing the challenges the district faces going forward.

Hobbs said the search committee and Trumbull-based consultants Cooperative Education Services want everyone to have their say. Residents can also offer their ideas through an online survey .

Abbey announced in November that he would retire at the end of the 2011-12 school year. He has served as superintendent for seven years. Hobbs said she would like to have a new superintendent selected by April.

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