Thursday, March 23, 2023


BOE Informs Parents of Palmer Absence ‘Until Further Notice’

Four days after Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer informed the Board of Education she would be absent to attend a family emergency, the board today told parents about her absence and said she would be gone “until further notice.” Image
Board of Education Chair Mark Mathias and Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer at the March 18 board meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for

By today, most parents were already aware of the development through news reports and social media posts.

In an email to parents signed by Chair Mark Mathias and six other board members, the board said:

“Late Thursday evening, Dr. Colleen Palmer notified the Board of Education that she would travel out of the area to attend to a family medical emergency. 

“Saturday, she confirmed to the Board of Education that one of her family members is undergoing a major medical emergency that requires her presence and attention.

“We understand from Dr. Palmer that she will be attending to this important family matter until further notice.

“In Dr. Palmer’s absence, our dedicated team of Central Office administrators are working to ensure that District operations and the delivery of excellent educational programming to our students will continue uninterrupted. 

“The Board’s thoughts are with Dr. Palmer and her family during this difficult time.”

The absence of Palmer, who has announced her intention to retire Aug. 1 after three years in the post, came after a survey of school administrators by their union became public that was critical of her leadership.

An unsigned note accompanying a copy of the survey sent to WestportNow, said it is clear from the results that Palmer “can no longer be effective in her current role and a replacement needs to be in place as soon as possible.” 

In response to the survey, Palmer told WestportNow: “We are aware of the survey, and our BoE has been working to create productive conversations to listen to and assist in resolving these concerns. We value our administrative team, and we are taking the results of the survey very seriously.”

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