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Darien administrator leaving for Greenwich

Published 4:13 pm, Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Carleen Wood, the Darien assistant director of special education for secondary schools, accepted a position as the special education administrator in Greenwich, effective July 31.

The Greenwich Public Schools announced the hire of Wood on July 25.

Wood was the last of the administrative staff members in Darien's special education department that came under fire after several investigations found that illegalities took place within the program.

Deirdre Osypuk, who served as director of special education, and Elizabeth Wesolowski, who was the assistant director of special education, both resigned from the district during the 2013-14 school year.

Wood had worked in the Darien district since 2007.

In March 2013, a group of parents filed a complaint with the state Department of Education claiming that the Darien Public Schools violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by removing the "team aspect" of the Planning and Placement Team meetings, at which students' programs and goals for the year are determined. At a later meeting with state representatives, allegations were made that Individual Education Plans were changed after PPTs and services were not being provided. Those allegations were found by the state to be true.

Wood and Darien interim Superintendent Lynne Pierson could not be reached for comment.

"We are excited to welcome Carleen Wood back to the Greenwich Public Schools," Greenwich Superintendent of Schools William McKersie said in a statement. "Her colleagues in Darien are reluctant to see her go, and for good reason. Ms. Wood is an experienced special educator and has a deep understanding of the many facets of the program, including statutes and legislation, instructional models and strategies for diverse learners, managing the demands on staff, and supporting students and parents throughout the process."

Wood succeeds Sharon Turshen, a longtime Greenwich educator, who is retiring.

Wood started her career in the Stamford district in 1987, teaching in a self-contained classroom and then as a resource room teacher. In 2000, she became a special education facilitator in Stamford.

In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, she also served as consultant on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards National Advisory Committee -- Exceptional Needs Division from 1998 to 1999, where she read and critiqued the Exceptional Needs Standards for the NAC.

In 2002, Wood started in Greenwich as program coordinator for special education. In 2004, she became the assistant principal at Cos Cob School before transferring to Glenville School in 2006.

Wood "made valuable contributions to the Greenwich Public Schools in professional development, the implementation of new curriculum and programs and the supervision and evaluation of staff," said a district announcement about Wood's hiring.