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Cromwell Superintendent, Asst. Superintendent resign after misconduct investigation

CROMWELL — Superintendent, John Maloney, and Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Krista Karch, of Cromwell schools both resigned following a misconduct investigation.

Board of Education Chairman, Mike Camilleri, accepted both resignations Wednesday and said in a written statement, that the board is deeply saddened by the circumstances that led to these actions.

The investigation stemmed from an anonymous allegation of misconduct. Camilleri said the board not know who is the person who made the allegation.

Camilleri continued in the statement by saying the board was initially hopeful that both administrators could continue their roles but when new information came to light, the administration could no longer support Maloney and Karch’s employment with the schools.

In the meantime, Cromwell High School Principal Frances DiFiore has been appointed as the interim superintendent until further notice.

The Board will be hiring an outside search firm to assist them in finding the best leader to serve as the next Superintendent of Schools.

Read the full statement from the Board of Education below:

February 13, 2019
To the Cromwell Community:

Today, February 13, 2019, the Cromwell Board of Education met to accept the resignations of our Superintendent, Mr. John Maloney, and our Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Krista Karch. We are deeply saddened by the circumstances that led to these actions, but truly believe that we must move on and set a new course for the Cromwell Public Schools.

We were hopeful, even up until last week, that Mr. Maloney and Dr. Karch could resume their roles and continue the work that they have done to improve our schools. However, as the investigation unfolded and new information came to light, including after Mr. Maloney’s return from leave on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, we determined that we could no longer support Mr. Maloney and Dr. Karch’s continued employment with the Cromwell Public Schools. We felt that it was best for the District to move forward with new leadership, so we asked both Mr. Maloney and Dr. Karch to submit their resignations, which they then did voluntarily in consultation with their respective atttorneys. Today, we are also simultaneously releasing a report from Shipman & Goodwin, the Board’s outside legal counsel, which provides a summary of their investigation findings. We will not be providing any additional comments on the investigation. After accepting Mr. Maloney’s and Dr. Karch’s resignations this morning, we then appointed Fran DiFiore, the Principal of Cromwell High School, as an Interim Superintendent. Given the demands of serving as our high school principal, we have asked Mrs. DiFiore to serve in this interim role only briefly while we work to engage the services of a longer-term interim Superintendent, likely for the remainder of the school year. We are grateful for her service and leadership as our interim Superintendent. The Board will be hiring an outside search firm to assist us in finding the best leader to serve as our next Superintendent of Schools. We hope to have our next Superintendent in place by July 1, 2019, in time for the start of the next school year.

We will be looking for a strong, collaborative, empowering and visionary leader to serve as our next Superintendent. Working closely with the Board, the next Superintendent will focus on building a stronger culture in our schools for our faculty, staff, students and families. We will work together with all of our school community members to re-build and move our district forward, so we all can focus on what is most important – giving our students the best possible
educational experience. The Board remains committed to moving forward with the actions outlined in our earlier January 24, 2019 letter, including:
• Hiring a Human Resources Director to help lead culture change and drive enhanced
• Creating an Ad Hoc Committee of the Board to review District departures,
• Creating a District-wide Climate Council,
• Enhancing and clarifying reporting channels, and
• Leading a policy review regarding a code of ethics, respectful workplace, harassment,
bullying, non-retaliation, conflicts of interest, and the appropriate process for handling complaints

In addition to the actions from our January 24, 2019 letter, we will also be working to strengthen and enhance our IT and security system controls. We will share more information about all of these efforts in the coming weeks and months. We thank Mr. Maloney and Dr. Karch for their service to the Cromwell Public Schools. We know that this situation has been difficult on them, their families and our District. We wish Mr. Maloney and Dr. Karch all the best in the future. Most important, all of us remain fully committed to ensuring the best possible education for all of our community’s children.

Mike Camilleri, Chairman, on behalf of the Cromwell Board of Education

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