Aresta Johnson To Lead Schools On Interim Basis

Aresta Johnson
Aresta Johnson. CT Post photo by Ned Gerard.

Aresta Johnson will become interim school chief when Fran Rabinowitz leaves the district at the end of the month while the Board of Education continues its search for a permanent leader.

CT Post reporter Linda Conner Lambeck has more:

“She is familiar with what Fran has established,” Bradley said. “The idea is to have someone in there that is going to keep pushing the work forward.”

“She’s there. She’s intelligent. She’s capable,” Sauda Baraka, a board member, said. Every time she presents before this board she presents very professional and polished.”

Johnson, a former pharmaceutical chemist who started her teaching career in Waterbury, first came to the district as a director of science in 2005. She would go on to be director of Central Magnet School  and then principal at Central High School before leaving the district when Paul Vallas was superintendent.

Full story here.



  1. Good luck, Aresta.
    I am not going to read too much into this but anyone who can successfully get a unanimous vote out of all nine members of the board is starting out in the right direction.

  2. Excellent choice. I have had the pleasure of working closely with her over the years. Aresta is a great person to lead the District while the Board searches for a new Superintendent.
    I wish her the best in her new job.

  3. Ms. Johnson was a principal at Central High School when my daughter was there. I served on the PTSO and she was always incredibly responsive to our needs and attended every PTSO meeting.

    She stays clear of the politics and is completely focused on the well-being of children. She has a reputation for staying neutral and not “choosing” sides, which is incredibly important after what has transpired with Rabinowitz.

    She is incredibly professional and polished and I was shocked when she told me she was raised in a housing project in Waterbury.

    She understands our children and our needs, which is incredibly important.

    I look forward to working with her and supporting her in her new role.

  4. I am certain Ms. Johnson will perform her role in a most professional manner. Why is it always an interim superintendent? Is she not qualified for the job at hand?

    Ms. Pereira, many great people were born and raised in housing projects. Even here in Bridgeport. Father Panik and P.T. Barnum have yielded many wonderful and successful individuals.

        1. Sorry, have we met? Are we acquainted? You’re in my Amy affairs, because… Lol just kidding, Frank I’m not UNHAPPY. There are elections every year, it seems, for positions on the BOE, if it’s meant to be, it will. For those who questioned my allegiances, this should show it was and is MY desire because of my belief that I’d be an incredible asset to the Board. I still hold a STRONG belief in Mayor Ganim and would work to keep him in office today as I did for his re-election.

  5. Maria,
    Is there anything in this appointment that prevents her from being a candidate for the permanent position? I know sometimes there is a mutually agreed-upon stipulation. Didn’t know if that were the case or not.

    1. Dr. Johnson could be considered for the position on a permanent basis. She will not be involved in the selection process according to the guidelines the Board agreed to before selecting an interim. I hope she does well as interim, and she applies for the permanent position.

  6. Good Luck and Best Wishes to Ms. Johnson. It would be a particular positive step forward if the Bridgeport Board of Education returns to the regular schedule, instead of the “special”meetings called by Dennis Bradley in his role as Chair of the BOE, so the people of Bridgeport can, once again, speak to the BOE. The special meetings (Dennis Bradley “specials) have denied the people of Bridgeport to speak to the BOE. WE have lost our constitutional right of “Free Speech” here in Bridgeport, at least in terms of speaking directly to the BOE.

  7. I don’t know Aresta, but it seems by her rave reviews the school system has a golden, home-grown prospect for superintendent. Maybe there is some light at the end of the BOE tunnel.

  8. My comment regarding Ms. Johnson being raised in a housing project was not a negative, it was a positive. Without divulging too much of a private conversation we had years ago; her mother and grandmother’s passion for the value of a good education, and the many sacrifices they made to ensure their children/grandchildren received those educational opportunities was incredibly inspiring.

  9. During Monday’s meeting, and after we voted to enter executive session; Bradley did everything in his power to postpone voting on an interim superintendent claiming we needed more time.

    It was absolutely preposterous considering Rabinowitz is leaving in 25 days and we all agreed her replacement should spend at least two weeks with her.

    In addition, this discussion or proposal did not qualify for executive session, therefore it was inappropriate. He should have raised these “sudden” concerns in public before we entered executive session.

    I was suspicious, therefore I did some digging. Mayor Ganim directed Dennis to postpone the vote because he didn’t want either Aresta or Wayne Alexander.

    Although the Board voted unanimously that we would only interview internal candidates to bring stability, improve employee morale, and ensure continuity of the work at hand; none of that mattered to Mayor Ganim and his puppet Dennis Bradley.

    Mayor Ganim clearly wanted to bring in someone from the outside who would follow his orders.

    Anyone who claims Ganim is not involved in key BOE decisions is fooling themselves.

  10. Please Maria, Joe or Dennis wouldn’t pee on you if you were on fire, so how would you know Joe wanted the vote on Ms. Johnson postponed? Who’s running the pool on just how long it will take before Maria castigates Ms. Johnson? I’m in for January 3rd.

    1. Don, you got that right, when will Ms. Johnson go on Maria’s hit list, will it be when the Ms. Johnson takes a picture with the mayor or will be when Ms. Johnson is seen talking to Dennis Bradley? It’s going to happen sooner rather than later.

    2. Well Mr. Day, I am certainly more informed and connected to the inner workings of the BOE and Ganim’s administration than you are.

      It’s unfortunate if that disturbs you.


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