State names new Bridgeport schools oversight board
(AP) - A banker, professor, hospitaladministrator and pastor are among the members of a newly createdboard to run Bridgeport's school district and overhaul its financesand student achievement. Acting state Education Commissioner George Coleman announced thesix appointments Friday, saying the new board will start its workimmediately in place of the nine-member elected school board beingswept out during the state takeover. State education officials decided this summer that Connecticutneeded to assume control of the troubled Bridgeport schools underprovisions of a 2007 state law that lets its step in when students'academic performance is in dire need of improvement. The move came after some Bridgeport city leaders, including themayor and schools superintendent, asked for the interventionbecause they said the school board was too dysfunctional to run thesystem and the budget was in shambles. Coleman's appointments to the oversight board include a newchairman: Robert Trefry, who retired in 2010 after 16 years aspresident and chief executive officer of Bridgeport Hospital. In addition to Trefry, the new board members will be: - Judith Bankowski, the vice president and chief informationofficer at Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. - David Norton, a senior executive vice president at PeoplesBank in Bridgeport. - Jacqueline Kelleher, a Bridgeport resident and parent who is aprofessor of teacher preparation at Sacred Heart University.Coleman says she has expertise in special education and makingeducation decisions based on data trends. - Michelle Black Smith-Tompkins, a Bridgeport resident andfounder of the New Beginnings Family Academy charter school. She iscurrently enrolled in Yale Divinity School and has expertise onmulticultural education. - Kenneth Moales Jr., a Bridgeport resident and pastor of theCathedral of the Holy Spirit. Moales operates two accredited daycare facilities and a program for kindergarten through seventhgrade, and also has a corporate background in accounting andauditing. One vacancy remained unfilled Friday. It is expected to go tosomeone representing General Electric Corp., which has itsheadquarters in neighboring Fairfield.
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