NORWICH – When chaos threatened at Norwich High School last spring, the district turned to Dr. Robert Cleveland to keep an even keel.
After 20 years as superintendent of schools for the Norwich City School District and a stint as interim superintendent three years ago, Cleveland has accepted what he says will be his last assignment.
At the behest of Superintendent Gerard O’Sullivan and School Board President Bob Patterson, Cleveland assumed the post of interim principal in mid-May, nearly two weeks before the startling announcement was made that the building’s principal, Thomas Knapp, would not be returning after a two-week medical leave.
According to Patterson, Cleveland’s long history with the district and the high esteem in which the community held him, led to the decision to bring him back on board for the temporary position.
“Even though he is retired, he has remained involved in the education field,” said Patterson. “He is current on education issues, aware of the future needs of the district and is a real asset to the building.”
Cleveland said he went into the position with his eyes open. While he knew he’d have his work cut out for him, the interim principal remains confident that Norwich will be able to “transcend” the challenges it faces.