Norwich BOE extends the contracts of Lessard and Bender: what we know

The Norwich Board of Education has extended the contracts of Norwich Interim Superintendent Susan Lessard and Norwich Interim Assistant Superintendent Jamie Bender through the end of December. The contracts were set to expire this month.

No changes have been made to their compensation or other conditions, board chairman Mark Kulos said.

The extension was set for the end of December because Bender is a retired administrator. She falls under Connecticut Teachers’ Retirement Board rules, which would require her approval to complete a second school year. The contract extension falls under a different set of rules, Kulos said.

The School Board was still in executive session when Lessard and Bender left Tuesday night’s meeting, so they were unable to comment at that time.

Norwich Interim Superintendent Susan Lessard.

Stringfellow, Gloster investigation

The investigation into Superintendent Kristen Stringfellow and Assistant Superintendent Tamara Gloster has taken time, but it must continue. The council hopes the investigation will be completed this year, but no date is known yet, Kulos said.

“We are at a delicate moment in the investigation,” he said.

More: Ability to throw pies at teachers increases Norwich CT middle school attendance

Concerns were first raised when a survey by the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) showed that 95% of staff feared retaliation if they spoke out about issues, and 89% of Norwich teachers said their work depended on their silence on these issues. the CEA reported on August 1.

The School Board placed Stringfellow on paid leave on September 18. Lessard was named interim superintendent that same evening. Gloster was placed on leave on September 25, and Bender was named interim assistant superintendent on September 27.

This article was originally published in The Bulletin: Acting Norwich Superintendent Susan Lessard’s contract extended again

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