CHESHIRE — The Board of Education narrowly hired an assistant superintendent from within the district after a search.
Marlene Silano, a former Chapman School principal and the district’s K-8 curriculum coordinator, was chosen from among nearly 100 applicants.
She’s going to fill the position vacated by Shawn Parkhurst, former assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, who left last year to take a superintendent job in Windsor Locks.
Silano received praise from all the board members. She was appointed in a 4-3 vote last week.
“She has always just been incredibly impressive. Her breadth of knowledge is great, she’s very detailed and considerate,” said board member Marlena Soble. “It’s always been a pleasure and I’m very pleased to support your appointment.”
Members in opposition to her appointment said they were looking for someone from outside the district who’d have a fresh perspective.
Neeta Vatti voted against Silano’s appointment, saying the district would have been best served by an external candidate.
“I believe it is beneficial and important for someone new to view a situation,” she said.
Vatti, a Democrat, joined Republicans Tony Perugini and Adam Grippo in the vote. All said they were confident Silano would do a good job and had served the district well in her previous roles.
“I find it hard to understand decisions to not vote for someone who is clearly the best candidate for the job, especially if those who are not voting are convinced that you’re going to do a great job, which I already know,” said board Chairwoman Kathryn Hallen.
Board members and top education officials conducted the interviews.
School Superintendent Jeff Solan said the selection process was very competitive. He was impressed with Silano’s work in the district, most recently in the central office as an administrator.
“In that position she’s done an incredible job,” Solan said.
Silano will earn $159,000 in the new position. Her contract will begin on July 1.