On Friday, Dr. Robert Miller was approved as acting superintendent through the end of the school year by state Education Commissioner Dr. Dianna R. Wentzell.  

A letter from the commissioner said the appointment was made through a subsection of the law that allows local boards of education to appoint “a person who is or is not properly certified for a probationary period,” because, as the letter notes, “Dr. Miller does not possess Superintendent of Schools (093) certification.”

Miller, who’s served as the district’s director of technology and operations development, was voted into the position by the board on March 12, shortly after the board voted to explore a resignation agreement with Superintendent Karen Baldwin.

‘Flabbergasted’

Richard Steinhart, a former Board of Education member who served for seven years before leaving in 2014, said he was “flabbergasted” that the board turned down Assistant Superintendent Kimberly Beck, as well as Ridgefield High School Principal Stacey Gross, in favor of Miller.

“I just don’t get it, why would they skip over two qualified people?” Steinhart said Saturday morning. “In my view there’s something not right here.”

Gross and Beck both hold a 093 Superintendent certification, according to the education commissioner’s website.

Steinhart spoke in favor of Beck taking over as acting superintendent at the board’s March 12 meeting, during a public comment period before the meeting began, and before the board voted for Miller to assume the position.

Speaking to The Press Saturday, Steinhart said he was not aware of Beck’s claim last week that she was not selected for the job after the board could not agree unanimously to support her as acting superintendent, but said her request for a public show of support from the board did not strike him as odd.

“In my tenure, we’d always try to come to a unanimous decision,” Steinhart said.