Colleen Palmer appointed new Westport Superintendent

Justin Schwebel, Staff Writer

Dr. Colleen Palmer was officially appointed as the next superintendent of the Westport Public Schools at Monday night’s Board of Education (BOE) meeting with a unanimous 6-0 vote.

. Palmer, who will begin her role as superintendent on July 1, will replace Dr. Elliot Landon. Landon who has worked for 17 years in the district, announced his retirement last year at the beginning of May.

Palmer’s appointment marked the end of a lengthy search process led by the recruiting  firm HYA Executive Search.  

Palmer, according to The Weston Patch, has served as superintendent for the Weston Public School District since July of 2011 and also served as Superintendent of the Monroe school district from 2008 to 2011.

Michael Gordon, chairman of the BOE, raves about Palmer, “Dr. Palmer is an academic visionary with a tremendous history of success both as a superintendent and as a high school principal,”  Gordon said. “She has been on the forefront of teaching our students 21st century skills and preparing them for a more global, connected world.”

Palmer was part of the “Core Group” of educators that developed the recommendations for the notable 2011 CAPSS Educational Transformation Project. The project, also referred to as NextEd, is a report authored by superintendents across the state to improve the state’s educational system, including developing ways to teach 21st century skills as Gordon mentioned.

Emily Flood ’16, while sad to see  Landon retire, is pleased to see a woman in the district’s top job.

“I’m glad that the new superintendent will be a woman. I think that’s great,” Flood said. “Since we didn’t get a female interim principal which I was hoping (for), I think it’s nice to have a woman so high up.”

This will be the first woman to hold this position since Judy Shook was Superintendent in the early 90s, according to Dan Woog, a lifelong Westport resident and author of the popular blog “06880.”

According to the Weston Forum, Palmer will be earning $285,000, a $35,000 raise from her salary in Weston, but $8,000 less than Landon’s $293,000 salary. However, putting Palmer’s salary aside,  Gordon is extremely confident in the Board’s decision. “The Board is looking forward to her building on the school district’s tremendous success,” Gordon said.