Board makes superintendent’s resignation official Wednesday night
DARIEN — The town’s chief school official is taking his talents to the United Nations.
A week after announcing his plans to resign, in his formal resignation letter Superintendent of Schools Dan Brenner announced that he will be assuming the role of executive director at the United Nations International School in Manhattan.
“There has been much speculation, since Tuesday when I announced my intention to resign, as to the motivating factors in my decision. I can assure you that no individual or individuals “chased me out” nor am I leaving because I have been mistreated in any way or by anyone,” Brenner said in his statement to the Board of Education, who voted to make his resignation effective immediately at a special meeting May 30.
He announced at a May 22 meeting of the Board of Education his intentions, though at that time he didn’t elaborate on where or why he was leaving the school. Brenner said in his May 30 letter that he was contacted by a recruiting firm representing the United Nations International School.
“After much thought, I concluded that this position was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that I could not pass up,” Brenner said.
Since coming to Darien in 2015, Brenner has overseen the opening of the Fitch Academy, an alternative high school located in the library, and helped to negotiate the installation of lights on Darien High School’s football field.
He came to Darien a year after the district was rocked by a special education scandal and was tasked with installing a new administrative staff and righting the course for the district.
Similarly, he was tasked with helping to rebuild in his former Roslyn, N.Y., district, where he served as superintendent from 2009 to 2015, before coming to Darien.
Brenner came to Roslyn in the aftermath of an embezzlement scandal that cost taxpayers $11 million and landed a former superintendent in prison.
Brenner thanked the board searched committee who hired him three years ago and the three board chairs with whom he worked: Betsy Hagerty-Ross, Michael Harman and Tara Ochman.
“I have been blessed with supportive Board members throughout my tenure. We have had many spirited, productive conversations, as we acted collectively in the best interests of the children we serve,” Brenner said.
Ochman thanked Brenner for his leadership and said that the board has already begun looking for both an interim superintendent and a full-time replacement for Brenner.
“This change in leadership will not affect the work of the strong team of dedicated teachers and administrators who continue to make the Darien Public schools a model school district,” Ochman said.
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