New Haven Board of Education appoints new superintendent

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NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (WTNH) — A new leader for the New Haven Public Schools is breaking barriers as the city’s first Hispanic superintendent.

The board formally voted to appoint Dr. Madeleine Negron as the next principal of the New Haven Public Schools in its first in-person meeting Wednesday. The meeting was at the Barack H. Obama Magnet University School.

Negron was chosen from among 31 candidates from 17 states. She was one of three finalists interviewed by panels of students, parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, and community members.

“She did very well at the interview,” said Yesenia Rivera, president of the New Haven Board of Education. “She had all those qualities that we thought the next superintendent should have.”

Negron has been an educator for 25 years. She was a former Director of Education for New Haven and is currently Deputy Superintendent of Hartford.

The New Haven Board of Education elects the first Spanish superintendent in history: a board member

But her education career wasn’t always so obvious. When she was a student, she said her teachers saw the language barrier as a setback.

“All they saw was we had this little girl who didn’t speak English,” said Negron. “And for some, that unfortunately means she can’t speak English, maybe she can’t be smart.”

With the help of his mentor, Negron excelled in school. She went on to become a first-generation college graduate with multiple degrees, including a PhD from UConn.

As the new head of New Haven Schools, she doesn’t want students to struggle the way she did.

“This is about kids waiting for us to make sure we create that access that they need to equal opportunity so they can fly because we know when kids thrive, which mayor when cities thrive,” she said.

Negrón also wants to collaborate with teachers and staff to help students succeed.

“Teachers build every other profession,” she said, “but nobody respects them for doing that building.” “I am fully committed to making sure they get the support they need that will help them grow because as educators, we are never done growing.”

Negron will officially launch on July 1st. She tours schools in New Haven on Thursday morning.