FAIRFIELD — Stephen Tracy began his term as interim schools superintendent Monday following Dr. Toni Jones’ departure for Greenwich.

Tracy is a familiar face in Fairfield, having filled the same interim role three years ago. He also served as schools superintendent of both New Milford and Derby from 1985-1993 and 2008-2012, respectively, before working at the Department of Children and Families. Tracy retired in 2015 but has returned to work in interim assignments along the way when called upon.

Now, he is excited to be back with the Fairfield school system. Reached by phone, Tracy described his current situation as “orientation mode” as he finds his bearings and gets to know the staff and board.

This summer, his main goal will be to prepare for the beginning of the school year by filling teaching positions, completing building projects and establishing transportation schedules.

“It’s in some ways a bit of quiet time,” Tracy said of the summer months. “Right now my focus is making sure we have the buildings and the staff in place for the opening of school.”

Having served in interim positions before, Tracy is cognizant of his role and its limitations. Rather than set long-term goals, he will strive to implement existing programs and keep the status quo running smoothly.

“In an interim capacity like this, the focus is really on working with the board and the principals to move forward with plans and directions that they’ve already established.” Tracy said.

Per his contract, Tracy will be paid a per diem amount of $910.15, predicated on Jones’ annual salary of $236,640. His term will continue for a maximum of 117 workdays, which translates to the end of the fall school semester.

According to Board of Education Chair Christine Vitale, the board is in the midst of its search for a permanent superintendent. While the search process was originally expected to conclude by the end of the June, it is still ongoing.

“We don’t have a set timeline for that appointment, but we are working as quickly as possible to have someone in place by the end of the year,” Vitale said.

rscharf@hearstmediact.com