Tenure ends for superintendent

Region 16 Superintendent of Schools Tim James 's last day is Aug. 29.  -FILE PHOTO
Region 16 Superintendent of Schools Tim James ‘s last day is Aug. 29. -FILE PHOTO

REGION 16 — After more than two and half years at the helm of the Region 16 school district, Superintendent of Schools Tim James is passing the torch.

Aug. 29 is James’ last official day as superintendent in the district, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect.

“He’s just been an amazing asset to us,” Board of Education Chair Donna Cullen said. “We’re going to deeply miss him.”

James came to Region 16 in January 2012 as interim superintendent. It didn’t long for the board to remove the interim label. He was hired as the permanent superintendent in August 2012.

James submitted his resignation in April citing health issues from an undisclosed medical condition. In his resignation letter, James said he decided to step aside because he could no longer dedicate the time and energy the job deserved.

“Unless I am able to consistently give 150 percent each day to the superintendency, I do not believe it is fair to the school district and those who have entrusted me with leading Regional School District 16 to continue in this position. The students, staff and the residents of Beacon Falls and Prospect deserve a superintendent who can completely dedicate him or herself to the position without distraction,” James wrote in an April 15 letter to the board.

James, who has been a superintendent for 26 years, said last week he hopes he’s leaving the district a better place than when he first arrived.

“Whenever I enter a district my biggest goal is to make a positive difference,” James said.

James said a superintendent doesn’t do anything alone. He said it takes quality people, which he added Region 16 has, supporting each other to make a difference in any school district.

James said he’s most pleased about the collaboration developed within the region and communities over his time in the district.

“I’d like to think we’ve made it a bit stronger,” he said.

The board has hired Michael Yamin to be the next superintendent. His first official day is Sept. 2, but Yamin has been meeting with James and other school leaders over the past several weeks.

Yamin, a Cheshire resident, most recently worked as director of special services and pupil personnel for Waterbury public schools.

Last week, Yamin sat among the board as James led his final meeting. James said the two have had great exchanges as they work to make sure the transition is a smooth one.

“Mike is very interested in being a highly successful superintendent. … He’s invested in Region 16,” James told the board.

As his career winds down, James said he couldn’t think of a better place for it to end than Region 16.

“I’m really pleased I’ve had the opportunity to work in Region 16,” he said.