Members of the Hartford Board of Education and strong community voices alike Tuesday evening expressed their appreciation, not to say reverence, for Dr. José Colón-Rivas, the City official and Board vice chair whom Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez has selected to serve as her chief operating officer. To say that his vote of approval was unanimous Tuesday night is an understatement.
Many local leaders and advocates who often take issue with District actions nonetheless spoke in glowing terms Tuesday about Dr. Colón-Rivas. The meeting video shows how many.
“There may be no one in this city that I respect and admire more than José,” Board Chair Richard Wareing said, adding that the new COO exemplifies professionalism and integrity – and that no one is more qualified, trusted and respected.
Dr. Narvaez pointed to the 27-year local experience of the new Hartford COO, who has served as a teacher, the Hartford Public High School principal who led its re-accreditation effort, City Director of the Department of Families, Children, Youth & Recreation, and vice chair of the Board. One of the reasons she asked him to take the post, Dr. Narvaez said, was “the depth and breadth of his connections.” Her press release said she was “thrilled” he was joining her staff.
In transitioning to the District, Dr. Colón-Rivas resigned his seat on the Board of Education, leaving his committee posts as well. Board Chair Wareing Tuesday named Board Member Beth Taylor to take over for him as chair of the School Choice and Facilities Committee and Board Member Tiffany Glanville to replace him as head of the Human Resources Committee. Moreover, the Board elected Ms. Glanville to the Board’s vice-chair post that Dr. Colón-Rivas formerly held.
Dr. Colón-Rivas will be asked to take on some duties formerly handled by the District chief of staff; this is just one of the new Venn diagram overlaps of necessary activities into a smaller senior Cabinet. It is down from 10 to six people, due to the presently harsh fiscal conditions. Here’s the full memo regarding central office reorganization, which contains the following explanatory information: