City school board chair in Saudi Arabia

BRIDGEPORT — City School Board Chairwoman Jacqueline Kelleher didn’t make Wednesday’s superintendent evaluation session and won’t be at Monday’s school board meeting. She’s in Saudi Arabia.

Kelleher, who is also a professor at Sacred Heart University’s Isabelle Farrington College of Education, was invited to Al Baha University in Abha, Saudi Arabia, to attend a conference. Her dean, James Carl, encouraged her to go.

“Professor Kelleher is a well-known expert on exceptional learners,” said Carl. SHU faculty members’ duties include professional service to the wider community.

Plus, the Saudi Arabian government is picking up the tab for the six day trip.

Kelleher, who has never been to the Middle East, according to Carl, went on her own.

“There was lots of humorous concern about veils, headscarfs, gowns, separation of the sexes, etc before she left,” he wrote in an email.

Where she is presenting, men and women are separated. She is presenting to women and men, apparently, will watch her presentation on a monitor. Al Baha University has about 14,000 students.

In an email, Kelleher said she will be teaching two sessions on gifted/special education. “It’s an honor,” she wrote.

Linda Lambeck