Superintendent heads to Greenwich, familiar face returns
FAIRFIELD — When Schools Superintendent Toni Jones first started in Fairfield in September nearly three years ago, she was then interim superintendent Stephen Tracy’s successor.
Now, it’s the other way around.
“(Dr. Tracy) has some familiarity with the district and I’m sure he’ll step right in,” Jones said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. “He’ll be busy from day one.”
Jones, who is currently on vacation, will be starting in her new role as Greenwich’s superintendent of schools on July 1.
The Greenwich Board of Education voted to hire Jones back in late January in a 7-1 vote where member Peter Sherr dissented. Her starting salary, according to previous reporting, will be $236,640 a year plus benefits as part of a three-year contract.
The past three years have had their share of experiences for Fairfield public schools, with issues like racial imbalance at McKinley School, plans for redistricting currently in the works and issues with outdated facilities that are nearing capacity.
“I feel like we have done really good work in the three years I’ve been here, a lot of facilities work like getting Holland Hill built and Mill Hill just passed, also the work we’ve done with the Early Childhood Center, next year we’ll have the class size and peer ratios will be where they should be,” Jones said.
Jones also highlighted efforts to bring a 21st century education to the forefront of the schools as well as in pre-kindergarten programs and elementary schools.
Ever since Greenwich’s decision to hire Jones was announced earlier this year, the Board of Education has worked on finding a successor to the interim superintendent.
The board hired the firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates back in March to search for a new leader. According to board member Jessica Gerber, the search is moving along and the new superintendent could be announced by the end of the summer.
Jones’ office at 501 Kings Highway E. is packed into boxes as she heads off to Greenwich, where she begins her role as superintendent on Monday.
“Every time you leave or a teacher moves, the people is what I really value,” Jones said. “Fairfield has some of the best teachers and administrators in the country and every time you surround yourself with people like that, you learn something new.”
As Jones heads out, Tracy returns to a familiar place.
“I’m ready to go,” Tracy said in a call Thursday afternoon. “The first thing I want to do is spend time with the folks I’ll be working with.
Tracy acknowledged there is much work to do, particularly on hiring for vacant positions and long-term planning for facility updates.
“I’m looking forward to it and I know some of the board members and staff at central office and I was happy to say yes when they asked (that I return to Fairfield),” Tracy said.