Vallas team is down one


BRIDGEPORT – Don Kennedy, brought in by Paul Vallas as an interim chief operating officer shortly after his arrival in the district 18 months ago, has left the district to become Chief Financial officer for the Boston Public School System, it was confirmed Tuesday.

Kennedy was formerly the chief financial officer in Seattle Public Schools but lost that job at the same time as Seattle schools superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson was fired in 2011.

While in Bridgeport, Kennedy was in charge of business functions and facilities. He oversaw the progress of the district’s many school building projects, devised ways to track student and teacher data and most recently engineered a plan for the district to reduce the number of school buses it uses by tiering school start and stop times. How well that works out remains to be seen when it rolls out this fall.

 While others that Vallas brought to the district eventually becamed salaried employees, Kennedy remained a $900 a day consultant throughout his tenure. Boston officials confirmed Kennedy’s new job. In his new job he will earn $170,000 annually.

District officials say that Kennedy’s departure had nothing to do with the current legal fight surrounding Vallas’ qualifications to stay as superintendent. The 2013-14 budget anticipated additional central office savings that included a consolidation of office positions.

 In a prepared statement Vallas said the position consolidation is part of an ongoing effort to streamline the Central office.

“Don Kennedy, who played a critical role in helping the district during the challenging transition we inherited, has played a critical role in our work to balance the budget and bring operational excellence to our District. He will be leaving to take on a comparable role in Boston Public Schools and I would like to wish him all the best and thank him again for his critical contributions to Bridgeport students.” Vallas stated.

Tony Pires, who has been with the district for 14 years, will be assume some of Kennedy’s responsibilities, officials said.

Linda Lambeck