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Williams Scores Job With CEA

by | Nov 24, 2014 12:02pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Education, Labor, State Capitol

Hugh McQuaid file photo The state’s largest teachers union, the Connecticut Education Association, announced Monday that had it hired outgoing Sen. President Pro Tempore Donald Williams as its new deputy policy director.

Williams, who didn’t seek re-election, has been job hunting since at least last spring when he unsuccessfully sought a position as president of Quinebaug Valley Community College.

There were concerns that if Williams was named president before the expiration of his term in January 2015 that it would violate the state constitution, which prohibits such a relationship as a conflict of interest. Williams was one of the three finalists, but was not named to the position.

Williams will start the CEA job in January 2015, after the expiration of his term.

“With 22 years of direct legislative policy experience in the Connecticut State Senate, Don’s skills and commitment are a perfect match for what CEA needs during this time of extraordinary challenges in public education,” Sheila Cohen, president of the Connecticut Education Association, said Monday in a press release. “He shares our goal to have every student succeed and every teacher respected as a professional educator.”

Williams has a law degree from the Washington and Lee University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University.

“I have enjoyed my years in public service as an advocate for education, where I have listened to teachers and learned about policy from those in the classroom,” Williams said. “As president of the senate, I have helped draft and pass initiatives regarding every major aspect of public education.”

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(4) Archived Comments

posted by: dano860 | November 24, 2014  12:34pm

Yes he was one of the three finalists but weeks prior to the final candidates announcement I spoke with a member of the search committee. They offered, on their own, that one of the candidates came with an extensive background in education and appeared to be the front runner. I believe the person selected was that person.
We predicted in earlier posts that Donny would land in a lobbyist position or with a union bent function. I guess the latter would have been a good bet. It’s not widely known but his wife is in the education system too.
Good luck Donny but this move will cost the citizens of Ct in the end.

posted by: RogueReporterCT | November 24, 2014  6:35pm


Dear Senator Williams,

This may end up outside of your wheelhouse in your new job, but since you will be taking an ongoing role in education in Connecticut, I feel compelled to make an appeal to you. You may have noticed a vigorous debate here in the columns and comment sections of the NewsJunkie, as well as the Mirror over proposals to open up more charter schools in Connecticut. In one corner are people who appear to be in favor of opening as many charter schools as possible, as soon as possible. They do a great deal of bashing of teachers unions, like the one you will be helping to lead. They toss out cookie cutter phrases about public schools being “failure factories” and they paint their opponents as being opposed to a sound education for minority students.

Those of us in the other camp feel that in light of immediate budget budget constraints and past management issues within charter school companies, that no new charters should be approved this year. We are concerned that some funds will need to be budgeted just to make sure that existing charter schools are fulfilling the promises, and premises, of their charters. Moving forward, we would need to see measures taken to address the lack of transparency endemic in the charter school industry. Part of such measures would be the establishment of an accreditation body capable of performing a vigorous audit of charter school pedagogy and finances, a body accountable to the public and the General Assembly.

Given that the people on one side of this debate make no bones about their contempt for your new employer, I hope that those of us who advocate the path of Prudence can count on you as an ally.

posted by: art vandelay | November 24, 2014  7:38pm

art vandelay

Politics makes strange bedfellows.

posted by: ocoandasoc | November 25, 2014  2:26am

Mr. Williams has been working part-time for the CEA for years. Nice to see they’re finally putting him on full time.

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