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It's a Deal: White Plains Schools Superintendent Hired by Tarrytown

Christopher Clouet will take charge July 1 at Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow public schools.

Called “the perfect fit” for the job, White Plains schools Superintendent Dr. Christopher Clouet was formally hired Thursday to oversee education in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow public schools.

His four-year appointment, which was expected, came on a unanimous, check-the-final-box vote of the Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns. , will succeed Dr. Howard Smith, the district’s only schools chief in this century, on July 1.

Board Vice President Mimi Godwin, who chaired a superintendent search committee, said the hunt for Smith’s successor had been nationwide, attracting 59 hopefuls. In the end, however, their chosen hire turned out to be a 15-minute drive away. The committee had interviewed 14 candidates, referring seven to the full school board, but “after careful screening, and careful research,” Godwin said, “we decided that Dr. Clouet was the perfect fit.”

Seated beside the board room’s oversized fireplace, Clouet looked on quietly, taking notes—near, but not yet a part of, the meeting table’s complement of elected and administration officials. The seven-member board quickly confirmed Clouet's $253,000-a-year appointment. A standing-room-only audience, drawn more by a science-project exposition than the superintendent’s selection, gave Clouet a sustained round of applause after the vote.

Though he will not be starting on his job officially until July 1, Clouet expects in the meantime to discuss next year’s spending plans, among other things, with Dr. Smith and the board. “I’ll be part of the process,” he said in response to a question after Thursday’s meeting, “but it will be Howard’s budget.”

Clouet said he also expects to work with Smith and the board to hire a new assistant superintendent for curriculum, part of Albany's push to establish core educational standards statewide.

“I think the district is well-positioned to adapt to the new Core Curriculum,” he said, calling it “a more-rational, transparent approach” to learning standards. “Whether you’re in Dogpatch or you’re in Westchester, it should be, ‘This is what third-graders do; this is what second-graders do,’ and so forth,” he said.

In a 27-year career, Clouet has been a teacher and high school principal as well as a superintendent in three other school districts. Besides White Plains, where he has held the top spot since 2009, Clouet was superintendent in two Connecticut districts, New London and Thomaston. A graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, Clouet went on to earn master’s degrees at Brown and Fairfield universities and a doctorate in educational administration at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Dan Seidel February 19, 2013 at 05:20 PM
and why would he hire an asst supt of curriculum? The NYS Core Social Studies Curric is infiltrated with Muslim Brotherhood doctrine and propaganda as well as being dismissive of American ideals and Exceptionalsim.... and Clouet says nothing is wrong? I guess good riddance. I'd still sue for breach of contract and get some $$$ back. He can afford it.
Mike McAteer February 20, 2013 at 03:27 AM
If we knew eight or ten months ago that the person championing the "middle school redesign" was going to take another job in the middle of this school year, would we have approved the Sixth Grade Academy? If the answer is no, then the BoE must take steps to stop that transition process. And the answer has to be no. Dr. Clouet cherry-picked the research that he gave to a committee and then side-stepped legitimate questions at public forums. Last July, The New York Times ran a Room for Debate piece on "The Middle School Conundrum" - http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/06/18/the-middle-school-conundrum - and not one of the educational leaders debating the problem even thought of addressing the idea of a separate school for sixth graders. Return middle school choice to the parents of White Plains. If you don't, then White Plains will have a grades 6-8 program whose driving force abandoned his own idea, a program that will be led and staffed by people who don't believe in it.
Robert Cooke February 20, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Mr. McAteer - I totally agree with you!
2011 February 21, 2013 at 09:02 PM
I completely agree! There's more to this story here. There's no reason why the new 6th grade academy should even be put into place. Clouet's departure...good riddance, and take the 6th grade academy with you to Tarrytown!
BOE Watch April 24, 2013 at 01:38 PM
WHAT IS LEFT OUT HERE IS THE FACT DR. CLOUET WALKED FROM THE WHITE PLAINS SCHOOL DISTRICT IN VIOLATION OF HIS CONTRACT. BREACH OF CONTRACT. HE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THE WP TAXPAYER AND THE WP BOE. LITIGATION SHOULD BE ENFORCED AND THE WP TAXPAYER REFUNDED FOR HIS BETTER FINANCIAL BREACH - FIT TO HIS PERSONAL POCKETS. IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY FOR CLOUET, NOT EDUCATION. DR. CLOUET HAS A WP CONTRACT UNTIL 2015, RENEWED IN 2010 TO RE-FIT HIS POCKETS AND HEALTH CARE TAXPAYER ENTITLEMENTS AT THE COST OF THE WP TAXPAYER AND CITIZENS.

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