The vote was unanimous.
"It is with pride and humility that I accept this position," Canty said at Tuesday's meeting.
He pledged to continue to cultivate partnerships with the community.
The board unanimously accepted Falcone's resignation.
Falcone was not at the meeting, nor was a seat set for him at the board table.
"The board has concluded that new leadership is required," Chairman Betsy Hagerty-Ross said, adding that the board recognizes that "this has been a hard time for the community."
Hagerty-Ross acknowledged that the community has been "in turmoil" for many months over controversy in the special education department and its procedures, practices and services and that the board and administration have strived to make "significant efforts to address the concerns."
But the concerns continue to pour in.
"For example, just this Friday, the board learned that in September 2012, Dr. Falcone received a letter from a respected staff member, outlining numerous concerns about our schools' special education procedures and practices put in place at the start of the 2012-2013 school year," Hagerty-Ross said. Who that staff member was is unknown.
"However, Dr. Falcone did not share this letter with anyone, including the board. While we understand that Dr. Falcone wished to address on his own the serious concerns expressed, we disagree with that approach and believe that consulting with the board was necessary."
Falcone has received criticism following the state Department of Education's report that found special education law had been broken on numerous occasions during the 2012-13 school year under the direction of Special Education and Services Director Deirdre Osypuk, who has been on paid administrative leave since June 17.
"People do have a responsibility for what happens and my problem, without being too harsh, is that I think Steve (Falcone) really does care about this and I think Steve has done a lot to vindicate himself, but he was in charge while a lot of these violations took place," Andrew Feinstein, the attorney who represents the 20 parents of special-needs children who filed in March a complaint with the state, said following the release of the state's second report on its findings.
"I see all these kids in the high school being punished for stupid things once and for things they regret doing," he said. "The notion that the superintendent of schools can say, `You know, geez, I'm sorry, I really didn't know this was going on,' is not acceptable in this environment."
Following Falcone's resignation, Feinstein said he hopes people do not think that his departure absolves the issue.
"I feel, in a way, rather sorry for Steve," Feinstein said. "He was a nice guy who was probably over his head but he -- at least as far as I can tell -- was never a primary force for evil in the district. There are others who were, who are still in their positions. There is no reason for Steve Falcone to take the fall for others, that's a bit troubling."
Falcone could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
"We appreciate Dr. Falcone's long service to the Darien Public Schools and the work he has done with the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee," Katrina O'Connor and Courtney Darby, co-chairmen of SEPAC, said in a statement. "We will continue to focus our work on moving forward as a community."
Canty was hired as the assistant superintendent in time for the 2013-14 school year after the resignation of Matthew Byrnes at the end of the 2012-13 year.
He will serve as the acting superintendent until the board can identify an interim superintendent while it searches for a new full-time leader.
Falcone came to Darien High School in the 1990s as a history and social studies teacher, and was named assistant principal of Darien High School in 1998. He left the district in 2001 to become principal of Fox Lane High School in Bedford, N.Y., before returning in 2005 to assume his current position.
He was hired as the superintendent in 2010, following the retirement of then-Superintendent Donald Fiftal.
Falcone has a bachelor's degree in political science from Amherst College, a master's in liberal studies with a concentration in social studies from Wesleyan University, a C.A.S. in education administration from Sacred Heart University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Connecticut.
"We realize that this has been a difficult time for Darien's public schools and the community of Darien, the board members are fully committed to working with the school community to rebuild trust and chart a new course for our students," Hagerty-Ross said.
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