School board looking to retain interim superintendent

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The Region 16 Board of Education is considering retaining interim Superintendent of Schools Tim James, right, for 14 months beyond this school year. –FILE PHOTO

PROSPECT —Tim James, Region 16 interim superintendent of schools, may be holding onto that title a little longer than originally planned.

The Board of Education is considering retaining James as interim superintendent for at least another 14 months after his current contract runs out after this school year.

“The board has been very pleased with Mr. James,” Chair Priscilla Cretella said during a March board meeting.

Cretella said the board is considering holding onto James, among other reasons, because he is versed in Connecticut education law and school building projects.

The district is currently in the midst of a three-part, $46.7 million building project. Under the project, a new elementary school will be built in Prospect to replace Community and Algonquin schools, major renovations will be done to Laurel Ledge Elementary School in Beacon Falls, and Algonquin School will be converted into the new district office.

If the board retains James for an additional 14 months, he would be in place through the expected duration of the project.

The board has not had any formal discussions on the matter or begun any formal contract negotiations with James, according to Cretella.

When asked about the potential for staying in the district as interim superintendent, James said “I’m interested in being here and serving the board as long as they need me.”

James replaced former superintendent James Agostine on an interim basis in January. Before coming to Region 16, James served as superintendent of schools for the Orange Elementary School District.

James is paid on a per-diem basis, which school officials in January estimated at $680 a day. He does not receive any benefits from the district.

James’ educational career spans 41 years, beginning at the age of 22 as a teacher in Long Island, N.Y. He has spent 23 of those 41 years as a superintendent, including in Orange and Region 6, which covers Warren, Morris, and Goshen.

James earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Elon College, now Elon University, in North Carolina, a master’s degree from Adelphi University in Long Island, N.Y., and a professional diploma in educational leadership from C.W. Post College in Long Island, N.Y.