Could It Be Geraldine Johnson To Aresta Johnson?

Aresta Johnson
Aresta Johnson. CT Post photo.

>Give acting school chief Aresta Johnson credit for displaying a sense of city history in the school named for the city’s first African American public education leader. The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on a permanent chief Monday night, see here.

From Linda Conner Lambeck, CT Post:

Two candidates vying for one of the toughest jobs in the state put their Southern charm on display Thursday, telling a packed audience they would do their best for some 21,199 city school children as the district’s next schools superintendent.

Aresta Johnson, who has held the job for the past three months in an interim capacity, said in some respects she feels she has already won.

“I stand on the shoulders of giants like Geraldine Johnson,” she said, evoking the memory of the district’s first African American female schools superintendent who served from 1976 to 1981. The school in which she spoke was named after Johnson.

Full story here.



  1. I attended Thursday’s superintendent presentations and was going to speak on Monday before the board voted. Then somehow it was added to the Special Meeting agenda with a qualifier for possible executive session. I think this is disingenuous for two reasons. My opinion will follow.

    1. Now that the public has heard both candidates present we can make an informed decision as to who we want to lead our children.

    2. Executive sessions are closed to the public and we as voters deserve to know what logic each board member is using in coming to their decision on whom to hire.

    After listening to each candidate, I am still convinced Dr. Aresta Johnson is the right person for the job. She is invested in our community, in our children and dedicated to Bridgeport. Bridgeport was Dr. Johnson’s first and only choice. BPS already has a horrendous staff retention rate which will only get worse if one of our own is passed over for a promotion after her hard work on behalf of our children.

    Dr. Katrise Perera looks great on paper but I fear she may lack the commitment and fortitude to deal with a strong-willed board, parents and the bare-knuckle politics of Bridgeport. My opinion is not only based on recent ‘alleged’ mean tweets (which happened to coincide with another interview across the country), my opinion is also based upon her lack of commitment as superintendent of Isle of Wight school district. Not only because she was let out of her contract early as everyone may know but because it’s not the first time she tried to leave. In 2013 she interviewed for jobs in Florida and Louisiana after a little more than one year into a four-year contract. See link.

    I respectfully ask the board to hire Dr. Johnson and not take a chance in having to start this search all over again.

    1. I attended the meeting also. I had never met either candidate so my opinion is objective. I agree with Joseph, the present acting superintendent is clearly the best candidate to lead the BOE.

    2. I submitted my agenda items on Tuesday which included the selection of the new Superintendent. On Thursday we received our BOE packets for Monday’s meeting which included a special meeting notice for a grievance hearing.

      Then on Friday afternoon we received a revised special meeting notice electronically in which Joe Larcheveque added possible action on the Superintendent.

      There is no public comment allowed in a Special Meeting, therefore after parents, staff, and community members finally got to hear from both candidates on Thursday, no one will be allowed to publicly speak BEFORE we vote on the Superintendent.

      The Superintendent is the most important position in the City of Bridgeport earning $260,000 annually, managing 3,000 employees, and will be responsible for the academic well-being of over 21,000 students; yet Joe Larcheveque and his Democratic handlers are attempting to prevent any member of the public from speaking BEFORE we vote.

      The question is why?

  2. Friends and neighbors,
    I attempt to focus on issues and ideas that have sufficient factual substance in the public record and/or are a logical thought progression of same.
    I have missed the most recent public meeting where the two candidates spoke, but I would be pleased if we can settle on a candidate who will craft a five-year plan (as a previous recent Superintendent did), explain its pros and cons, and get on with a contract of similar duration to administer the plan, knowing all the time that the public will expect Open, Accountable and Transparent process with Honest facts and numbers. City youth have been disadvantaged and word from the “financial front” do not indicate reasons to celebrate the future in Bridgeport. What are the priorities? What does each stakeholder need to do to meet the plan (anticipating that all stakeholders will have a chance to register their thoughts) in terms of money, time required, efforts on learning, studying, and speaking up including voting?

    And which of the goals, objectives, and such data will be quantitative, measurable, tracked, and posted for all to see each month? What trend will be observed? Who is performing better than expected? What needs tweaking? Time will tell.

  3. John, I’m sure there was a good reason why you couldn’t attend the meeting to hear both candidates speak. It would have been a good opportunity to ask the questions in your post. Since there will be no opportunity for the public to speak before the vote by the Board, perhaps you can meet with the chosen one and seek her answers to your questions.

  4. In an earlier post I indicated I attended the BOE forum and had the opportunity to listen to both candidates introduce themselves and answer written questions submitted by members of the audience. As I also mentioned in my earlier post, I knew nothing about either candidate. I took the time to read the article written by the reporter for the CT Post, and something that was reported bothered me. The reporter quoted Mrs. Johnson as saying “I felt as if I already won.” For anyone who was not in attendance, I would like to clarify that comment since it was reported in a way that clearly misrepresented what I heard Mrs. Johnson say, and what she meant when she said it. She was humbled to be in contention for the highest office in the BOE, she was grateful for the opportunity to serve in her present position as well as to stand in a school named for the first black Superintendent of Schools. For these reasons and more, she felt as if she already won in life. Her statement as I understood it in no way was intended to mean she felt she would be selected as the next superintendent. I’m taking the time to share what I heard and understood her to mean. I have no doubt all in attendance that evening felt the same as I. With all that said, I hope the BOE selects Mrs. Johnson to lead our BOE schools.


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