School board seeks feedback on new superintendent

What makes a good school superintendent? That may be a matter of opinion, and the Trumbull Board of Education wants to hear from school parents and community members on the issue.

Chairman Lucinda Timpanelli said the board had hired a search firm to conduct the hunt for Trumbull’s next superintendent. Former Supt. Gary Cialfi had informed the board of his intention to retire at the end of the school year, but requested and received a paid leave of absence earlier this month, effectively ending his tenure with the system.

As part of the search, the board is asking residents to complete a brief survey about what attributes are important in the next superintendent. The survey is online at

“This is something new for all of us,” Timpanelli said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

The survey consists of 16 attributes, and asks residents to list the five they consider most important. The attributes are a mix of general personal qualities and professional education and qualifications.

For example, two simple attributes would seemingly apply to many positions. The survey includes “is able to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing” and “has an understanding of technology as it applies to teaching and learning.”

Other potential attributes are more complex and specific to education, like “uses a systematic approach to managing and improving the schools; has excellent organizational skills, working knowledge of school law and proven ability to resolve organizational conflicts,” and “has an appreciation for the diverse academic and social-emotional needs of students and has an understanding of the development and implementation of support and intervention strategies to meet those needs.”

The survey will remain active until noon on Friday, Jan. 31.