Newington superintendent resigns months after fuel spill

NEWINGTON --  Just a year into a three-year contract, Newington’s Board of Education on Monday night accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. William Collins.

Collins has been the district’s superintendent for nearly a decade.  

“In my opinion, we’ve done things the lawful way and the correct way, both ethically and legally,” said Joshua Shulman, Newington’s Board Chair.

The move comes just months after a major fuel spill was discovered at the town’s bus depot. Nearly 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from an underground vault that the town’s attorney told FOX61 had not been inspected since 2014. Cleanup cost $2.5 million.

“I’m a little surprised, and at the same time, not surprised,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, a Newington mom and teacher. “There’s been kind of a contingency in town that have been kind of out to get, in my opinion, Dr. Collins.”

“I know there are many people who want to know exactly why and why not and was this the board, was it Dr. Collins, what’s going on,” said Shulman, in a public statement during Monday night’s meeting. “Unfortunately, we’re not going to answer those questions, and we’re never going to answer those questions.”

Parents at Monday’s meeting called Collins a trailblazer and a visionary, who they’re sad to see go.

“Other schools try to duplicate what he’s done,” said Newington dad Joe Duggar. “My whole point of being here is to thank him and acknowledge all the good work he’s done for Newington.”

“Even in other states, people have come to observe what we do in our schools here,” said Rodriguez. “It makes me kind of sad to think that he won’t be kind of leading the way for the district.”

Deputy Superintendent Pamela Muraca will take over as acting superintendent. Collins will go on leave effective June 30th. His resignation will be effective at the end of August.

FOX61 reached out to Collins for comment, but have not heard back.