Facilities head resigns

REGION 16 — The number of administrative positions that need to be filled in the Region 16 district office rose to three last week after the resignation of Supervisor of Facilities and Maintenance David Langdon.

Langdon submitted his resignation on July 23 and his last day was July 25, Superintendent of Schools Tim James said.

The Board of Education gives the superintendent the power to act on personnel decisions in the region, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, over the summer. James moved forward with accepting Langdon’s resignation.

Langdon’s resignation came a week after workers removing carpet in the guidance office at Long River Middle School in Prospect ripped up tile also and exposed asbestos.

The work should have immediately stopped and testing done for asbestos. However, the work continued and the materials were improperly disposed of in a dumpster at the school. A summer program was going on at the school at the time.

The situation didn’t come to the attention of local officials until an anonymous message was left for Prospect Fire Marshal Keith Griffin.

Non-friable asbestos was found in the tiles. However, air quality samples from 12 different areas of the school came back as “nondeductible,” or negative, for airborne asbestos. The school remained closed as of Tuesday while the district awaits the return of bids to conduct abatement work.

James said Langdon was overseeing the work at Long River, as he did all other projects in the district during his tenure. As far as Langdon’s decision to resign, James said it was treated as a regular resignation.

Langdon had been facilities supervisor for four years. In his resignation letter, he was thankful for the opportunity to serve Region 16.

“The experience has been instrumental in my personal and professional growth and I am appreciative of everyone who has supported me along the way,” Langdon wrote.

James said he will take on some of Langdon’s duties overseeing projects in the district until a new facilities supervisor is hired. James added that Turner Construction, which is the project manager for the school building project, has also offered to help any it can during the interim.

The position is a non-union job and will be posted externally and internally, James said. He expects to have someone in place in about five weeks.

Langdon’s resignation means three administrative positions in the district office will have to be filled. The biggest seat to fill is the superintendent’s chair.

James announced his plans to resign due to health issues earlier this year. The search for his successor has come to an end.

The school board met Tuesday night to interview finalists for the position and appointed Michael Yamin of Cheshire the next superintendent. His appointment is pending a contract agreement. Yamin is currently the director of special services and pupil personnel for Waterbury public schools and was principal of Kennedy High School in Waterbury from 2007 to 2012.

The board is also looking for a new information technology director to replace Bruce Bartmess.

Bartmess retired last year, but has stayed on as IT director and will continue until his successor is hired. James said a new IT director will be hired after the new superintendent is in place, so the new school chief can be a part of the hiring process.

Although there will be several news faces in the district office soon, James said turnover in the summer is a typical occurrence for every school district.

“It’s the nature of public education,” he said. “You just do the best you can to find the very best people.”

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