Assistant Superintendent Steps Down in School Shakeup

The Middletown Board of Education chair has confirmed Barbara Senges will retire at the end of the month — this on the heels of Superintendent Michael Frechette's resignation and William G. Grady leaving the Board of Education.


Two days after the city's embattled school superintendent stepped down, the assistant — whom some thought would be his successor — has announced she's also leaving the district.

Middletown Patch has also learned Board of Education member William G. Grady resigned his post effective Feb. 29, according to member Ryan Kennedy.

, the and one  most trusted confidants, told the school board chairman Friday she’ll retire March 30 to care for her elderly parents.

Senges, who joined Middletown Public Schools in April 2006, and taught a French class at , took over for Frechette on Friday, said school board Chairman Gene Nocera.

Nocera praised Senges's work in Middletown. “Yesterday at 5 p.m., we had a very good talk," he said. "Until we secure a person, she has agreed to be in charge. I am fully confident in her experience. She is a hard-working administrator who has done remarkable job. Her work ethic is one-of-a-kind,” Nocera said.

After meeting with board chair, Senges sent a letter out to her staff and the Board of Education. "My parents who live in Oklahoma are both in failing health and are now unable to live independently without care," Senges wrote. "I am the only member of my family capable of stepping into the role of primary caregiver at this time."

Senges complimented Frechette highly. "It has been a particular honor and privilege to work with an educational leader of Dr. Frechette’s caliber. I have been inspired and motivated on a daily basis by his vision, empathy for children, high expectations and integrity. His unwavering support of my efforts during my tenure in Middletown have allowed me to grow as a professional and to accomplish more in a short time than I ever dreamed possible."

Nocera said the board will be moving quickly to find replacements for both Frechette and Senges, and said he has a candidate interview on Tuesday. He indicated he was certain a replacement would be found by the end of the month and that Senges “will have everything ready” for a successor to take over.

Senges, of East Lyme, graduated from Colby College in 1972 and came to Middletown Public Schools from the Shoreline, as director of curriculum and program development for Regional School District 4, which serves Essex, Deep River and Chester.

Prior to that, she was director of curriculum and instruction and the Title VI, Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator for the region.

Grady is a longtime attorney in Middletown. In December 2009, he was nominated to the board to replace Democrat Judith Russo who resigned for health reasons.

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