Windham Special Master Steven Adamowski and New London Superintendent Nicholas Fischer await the education board's vote on intervention last month
Windham Special Master Steven Adamowski and New London Superintendent Nicholas Fischer await the education board's vote. Jacqueline Rabe Thomas / The CT Mirror

Steven Adamowski was named the “special master” for New London Wednesday by the state’s education commissioner.

“Steve has exhibited all of the qualities … that we need,” Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told the State Board of Education Wednesday. “He has a long track record here… Steve has paved the way” with his work in Windham and Hartford.

New London is the third district the state has intervened in in the last year, with Windham and Bridgeport taking place last summer following local requests for such involvement.Adamowski was the superintendent of Hartford before being named the special master for Windham last year. His two-year contract and compensation will not change with this added responsibility of overseeing New London public schools, said Pryor.

Adamowski came before the state board last month to explain his accomplishments in Windham so far.

“We are on the road to recovery,” he told them.

Pryor said Wednesday that Adamowski “has demonstrated the ability to bring parties together. He’s demonstrated the ability to wield the authority of special master wisely.”

Adamowski will have a range of authority to make management and governance decisions for the 2012-13 school year. If the state board wants him to be involved in New London beyond that time, it will need to reappoint him.

The problems facing this 3,000-student district, Pryor has said, are severe. The district has some of lowest overall test scores and graduation rates in the state. The district hasn’t received an increase in local contributions in four school years and the absence of millions in federal stimulus money has created a hole in the district’s budget.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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