Reed Will Take Over Superintendent Duties May 6

Superintendent Janet Robinson will begin a vacation effective May 6 extending to her last day on June 28.


Interim Superintendent John Reed will be assuming all his temporary duties as leader of the Newtown school district before July, following a vote at a Tuesday night Board of Education meeting.

Board members unanimously voted to allow Superintendent Janet Robinson to begin using vacation time from May 6 to her final day on June 28, at which point Reed will assume all superintendent duties.

The board voted to pass the following resolution:

"Move that the board shall enter into an amendment of the superintendent's contract stating the following: The Superintendent will begin vacation effective May 6 through June 28 and will be paid out for 21 days of unused vacation time at the end of her employment. Dr. John Reed will be the acting superintendent and take over all roles and responsibilities of the Superintendent from May 6 through June 28."

Robinson announced she would be leaving for Stratford in February, the culmination of a selection process that predated the Dec. 14 shooting. She has led the district since 2008.

Reed previously served as Newtown's superintendent for 20 years -- from 1982 to 2002 -- making him the longest tenured superintendent in Connecticut. After the shooting, he was praised for volunteering his time at Sandy Hook Elementary School's current location in Monroe.

"Given the tragic events of Dec. 14, the Board of Education thought it was highly desirable during this important time of transition that Newtown have an interim superintendent of schools who has a significant knowledge and understanding of our town and the Newtown school system," said board member Laura Roche when Reed's role was announced in March.

At that time, board members said Reed would assume some roles immediately and be involved in decision-making capabilities, including the hiring processes for new staff. Robinson's first day as Stratford's superintendent is July 1. Reed will serve as interim superintendent until a permanent hire takes the position.

Allison Koziol April 10, 2013 at 10:12 AM
Fabulous! That will give Robinson time to go house hunting in Stratford (hint, hint). Can't wait for John Reed to take over. He was the best superintendent we've ever had!
Michele Velky April 10, 2013 at 12:01 PM
There is no better candidate for this job. He is an outstanding, dedicated leader and an exceptional person!
Joan Reynolds April 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM
Newtown is blessed to have Dr. Reed on board once again. He is a caring, committed and effective role model for us all. Thank you John. Joan Reynolds
Susan April 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM
Relieved the Dr. Reed is back, even if it is only temporary.
Joe April 10, 2013 at 12:51 PM
No offense to Mr. Reed but I'd ask 'Is this the best we can do? The Board of Ed has done such a horrible job it is incredible. I can't even count how many vacancies need to be filled..... and the game of musical administrators can't be good for the morale of the teachers or, by association, the students.
carlistojoe April 10, 2013 at 02:23 PM
For once SH Dad, we are in agreement. Reed is so old school. Leave it to this board to pay for two Superintendents for two months. How did the board vote on this one. If it was unanimous, I would be surprised. If it was by party lines, shame on Leidlein.
Miss April 10, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Horray!!!! Goodbye Janet, Hello Dr. Reed! May 6 can't come soon enough!!
Marilyn April 10, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Are you kidding me right now? Would you rather a stranger come in and try to figure out what is going on in this town, with our schools, especially Sandy Hook right now, or someone who has been involved in one way or another since retirement...from this district? You did see that it was a unanimous vote, right? When has there been a coming together of the board since Janet has been here? That would be NEVER!! Do you really want Janet to hire the new administrators...when she has been out the door for months? I'm pretty sure there are many teachers in the district that were hired by Dr. Reed (so that would be over 10 years ago), including my child's teacher! He is interim...to HELP the district while they search for a permanent replacement. If you have the name of someone else that you think is more qualified, by all means, we would all like to hear...I can't imagine that you do. He may not be offended by your comment, but I am!!!
Yay Write April 10, 2013 at 03:13 PM
@SH Dad not sure what you mean buy that? Are you inferring that Dr. Reed does not have the ability unite this Board of Education. I would say he can and he has!. If you don't think that bringing Dr. Reed in is going to improve the district/teacher morale you're very mistaken. I know of no other person that can come into this district and fix what is broken! (Thanks Janet) Be happy the he has offered his services.
carlistojoe April 10, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Marilyn, Reed is a temp. He could be gone in a few months. So eventually we will have a "stranger" in the job. The article did not say the vote was unanimous. The board was united until Roche and Leidlein got into power and with that their agenda. They should hire the Principal at St. Rose, the only Blue Ribbon school in Newtown. Do I want someone who has been retired for 10 years hiring? No. Does he have any idea about modern technology, social media, standardized testing, budget constraints, ect. What is going to happen when the budget is defeated in two weeks? Can Reed effectively cut spending?
Davis Dunavin (Editor) April 10, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Hi carlistojoe -- Yes, the vote was unanimous (I've amended the story to make sure that's clear.)
John Woodall, MD April 10, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Thank you, Dr. Robinson for your tireless efforts and godspeed in your new postion. We all wish Dr. Reed every success as we all move forward united in the hope of having our kids become resilient and compassionate citizens.
Yay Write April 10, 2013 at 03:55 PM
@carlistojoe before You make assumptions about Dr. Reed maybe you should check out what he has done for the last 10 years. But since you don't know I will enlighten you. He has been and Interim Superintendent 5 times in 4 different districts in the last 6 years including Oxford last year. So I think he is up to date!
recourses April 10, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Wow. I guess kindness has left Newtown. No gratitude at all to a woman who tried to serve the people of Newtown during its darkest hour. Thank you Dr. Robinson for taking on so much during this tragedy. Thank you for putting your own career aside and trying to help move this town forward. Thank you for doing your best during your 5 year tenure to try to move this school system into the 21st century to keep us competitive with the best schools in the nation. Thank you for trying to rise above the politics and focus on the schools and the future of the children rather than small-minded issues. I'm sure Dr. Reed is a good man who was highly regarded during his tenure. But are we ready for steps backwards? I wonder who will be to blame when Dr. Reed cannot make everyone happy. I wonder who will be to blame when Dr. Reed isn't this school board's puppet either?
Fred April 10, 2013 at 04:59 PM
carlistojoe - I see you commenting on other articles on how conservatives are "haters" and the like. If you do not fit the definition of some of the names you use to describe people I don't know what does....
Sam Mihailoff April 10, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Of course John Reed will not be a cure-all for the problems that exist...several things he is 1 - - a SOB when necessary 2 - - fair ALWAYS 3 - - knowledgeable 4 - - totally Newtown "focused" Best wishes as he attempts to get the ship off the rocks.
Joe April 10, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Marilyn, I'll say again, I'm not against Dr. Reed. My concern is why the BofE puts a bandaid on this knowing last summer she was leaving. Robinson was a bad hire from day 1 but she wasn't ENTIRELY bad at her job. I'll give Dr. Reed the benefit of the doubt and I think he'll be fine. But I have to say, I have no confidence the BofE will do what's expected of them in the coming 4 months.
Marilyn April 10, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Only highly regarded during his tenure? How would you explain the unanimous votes...two of them so far? Very simple..it's called respect! He's earned it! Something Janet couldn't achieve here. No stepping backwards...we are already in a ditch...time to get back on the road and move on..and you're right...the kindness has dissipated...the nastiness has returned!
carlistojoe April 10, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Marilyn, sounds like you have an ax to grind against Janet. Let's stick to the facts, Janet liked it here and only started looking for another position when Leidlein and Roche decided, not unanimously, not to renew her contract. Blame the board and Lodra for this mess. It is their out of control spending that caused this.
Richard Hooker April 10, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Since when is our "ship on the rocks"? You know something all the parents do not know?
cabooser2 April 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM
I really wonder who the people are who do nothing but show complete animosity towards Dr. Robinson on here. The schools have been doing very well. Teachers, administrators, office staff and most of the parents are very happy with the state of the schools and the future-focused ideas of Dr. Robinson. Like Richard, what "ship on the rocks"? Is this all about being angry over the bus decision (seriously?)? Or budget issues (same or better than most surrounding towns)? Newtown schools are doing well. Newtown has some highly regarding school programs and top ranked schools. Why is Dr. Reed so needed to help right the ship? I don't think we want a superintendent to really be all that different than Dr. Robinson as far as looking to continue the school system's progression.
jimmy hat April 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Trust me this ship is on the rocks. The lighthouse keeper was been off visiting china when the beacon first went out. As the new bus company fiasco started she hired a media consultant to trim the wick but they were afraid of the dark and ran back to Hartford. The newtown school system is about as stable and effective as the fukushima nuclear power plant!
Joe April 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM
@cabooser, I like to feel good too. It's much better than feeling bad. But when it comes to the education of my children I choose to stick to the facts. You may 'FEEL' the schools are doing well but the facts say otherwise. The most important thing in ANY town is how well prepared their graduates are for college. Not how many art projects come home or what Asian food they've sampled or who drives their bus. High School preparedness is PRIORITY ONE. In this subject, we've been slipping for years and now are not even ranked by one of the better authorities on the subject. See for yourself: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/connecticut/rankings?int=b310ed
Yay Write April 11, 2013 at 01:06 PM
@jimmy hat I agree! Everything may look good on the outside but on the inside things are not good..the teachers have done a great job! But ask them how they feel about Robinson! Trust me it's not good!
dean alan martin April 11, 2013 at 04:49 PM
As a former Chairman of the Newtown board of Eductaion as well as having served as Chairman of the Supt. Search Committee that hired John Reed, I am delighted with the decision to have Dr. Reed serve as our interim superintendent of schools.He will once agoin be an outstanding stewart for our school system at a very critical time . Wishing you well in your new assignment !
Marilyn April 11, 2013 at 06:54 PM
They are the people that really know what's going on! Future-focused ideas? I've had a child in the school system for the 5 years Janet has been here and I have not heard one word about any briliiant ideas! As far as the next superintendent...we will search for someone with their own agenda, poor communication and one that doesn't play well with others...sounds like a recipe for continued disaster! Good luck with that!
itsneverenough April 11, 2013 at 08:20 PM
After 5 years JR ends her time in Newtown with 8 weeks paid vacation PLUS a payout for another 21 days of unused vacation time. In the game of taxpayers vs tax-takers I sure wound up on the wrong side.


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