(June 13, 2006) Greenwich Board of Education Chairman, Ms. Colleen Giambo, announced today the appointment of Dr. Betty J. Sternberg, as Superintendent of the Greenwich Public Schools. Dr. Sternberg is currently the Commissioner of Education for the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE). The Board of Education voted unanimously this morning to appoint Dr. Sternberg as Superintendent effective August 14, 2006. Ms. Giambo said, “Betty’s clear commitment at the State level on maximizing achievement for all students while closing performance gaps among students is in close alignment with the Strategic Directions and initiatives of the Greenwich Public Schools. Her passion for education and her knowledge and expertise in curriculum, best practices, and assessment strategies provides the ideal framework for leading the District toward achieving these goals.” Dr. Sternberg’s vast experience in education and her work at the State level is consistent with the District’s vision and mission. Dr. Sternberg commented “Greenwich is a microcosm of our State, a diverse community with all of the benefits, opportunities and challenges that such a community presents. I am looking forward to fostering a school culture that continues to raise achievement of all students while accelerating the achievement of those that have historically under-achieved. I believe that Greenwich can become the model for all public schools in accomplishing these goals.”
The District began its nationwide search for a superintendent last December, immediately following Dr. Larry Leverett’s resignation announcement. The Board established its Superintendent Search Committee, led by the Board’s Vice-Chairman Ms. Ginny Gwynn and including Mr. Steve Anderson, Mr. Bill Kelly, and Mrs. Nancy Weissler. The Committee has worked tirelessly to identify a search consultant, develop the profile for the new superintendent, and in actively recruiting and interviewing the most highly qualified candidate for the position. The Search Committee solicited input from the other Board members, each member of the Superintendent’s Cabinet, four separate stakeholder focus groups and others to develop the characteristics the school community was looking for in a new Superintendent. The four focus groups included Greenwich community members, teachers, parents and administrators and support staff. Ms. Gwynn noted, “The clear and consistent message we received in each of our discussions and from the focus groups was to stay the course and remain focused on our current initiatives and improvements. This message was at the forefront of our work throughout the search and interviewing process.” In addition, the school community was looking for someone committed to Connecticut and our District, someone that understands and appreciates the diversity of Greenwich; a politically astute individual with sound leadership and relationship-building skills; and an instructional leader with the knowledge to effectively employ the resources of the community to meet our goals.
Remarkably, the Superintendent Search Committee was able to identify such a candidate: Dr. Sternberg exemplifies each of these qualities.
Dr. Sternberg has been the Commissioner of Education for the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) since 2003. She has dedicated much of her career in education to the SDE as Associate Commissioner in the Division of Teaching and Learning for over 12 years (1992-2003); as Director in the Division of Curriculum and Professional Development from 1985-1992; and as Bureau Chief in Curriculum and Staff Development from 1980-1985. As Commissioner of Education and Chief Executive Officer of the State Board of Education, Dr. Sternberg is responsible for over 350 employees at the central office and approximately 2000 staff members in the State’s technical high schools. She oversees public education in the State’s 166 local public school districts, 17 regional technical high schools, 3 endowed and incorporated academies, 12 charter schools and 39 full and part-time magnet schools. She is also responsible for developing, recommending and implementing the components of a $2.0 billion state education budget.
As the first woman to serve as Commissioner since the inception of the position in 1838, Dr. Sternberg has continued to promote programs and strategies for improving teaching and learning in the state. She is the key author of the standards piece of the Education Enhancement Act of 1986, nationally recognized legislation designed to attract and retain high-quality teachers to Connecticut. She directed the development of the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), considered the most effective in the country. She was instrumental in developing the first school-by-school database in the nation in the form of the Strategic School Profiles and she is responsible for the development of The Connecticut Framework: K-12 Curricular Goals and Standards in 11 core curriculum areas.
Dr. Sternberg has authored numerous articles, publications, monographs and reports on best practices for teaching and learning, accountability and assessments, and the obligation we have as educators to maximize achievement for all learners. She has been responsible for attaining and/or oversight of millions of dollars in grants over the last 10 years or more. She has been a speaker at multiple major conferences including the Harvard Law School, Advocates for Education forum this year as a panel participant with former Secretary of State, Rob Paige on the topic, “Judging No Child Left Behind: Is It Helping U.S. Children?” Dr. Sternberg is the recipient of the Columbia University, Teachers College 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award. She has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of New Haven (1975-1979 and 1981-1982), a Lecturer at Western Connecticut State College (1977) and a Consultant for The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (1992).
Dr. Sternberg began her career as a Math Resource Teacher in the Franklin-McKinley School District in San Jose, CA (1972-1975). In 1975 she moved to Connecticut and began her work with RESCUE, the Regional Educational Services Center Through Unified Effort, currently known as Education Connection in Bridgewater and Litchfield, CT. Her first position at RESCUE was as Coordinator for Instructional Services and after 2 years she became the Assistant Director for Personnel and Instructional Services, before moving to the SDE in 1980.
Dr. Sternberg received her B.A. in Philosophy from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA in 1971; her M.A. in Mathematics Education, K-12 from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1972; and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Staff Development from Stanford University, Stanford, CA in 1978.
Greenwich Public School Press Release
State Department of Education Press Release
Bio Brief for Dr. Betty J. Sternberg
Superintendent Search History