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Shannon Marimon

Shannon Marimón to Lead Connecticut Council for Education Reform

Shannon Marimón has been appointed executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform.

“We are so pleased that Shannon will be joining us as CCER’s executive director,” CCER board chair Steve Simmons said.

“She has a solid background in education policy, knows the state’s educational landscape, and is an outstanding person. Our board very much looks forward to working with her as she leads our efforts to advance educational achievement for all of Connecticut’s students.”

In her role with CCER, Marimón will work to narrow Connecticut’s achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut.

The organization advocates for state-level policies that help overcome educational barriers. CCER also works with educators to implement meaningful and sustainable improvement.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to take on this unique and fulfilling role with CCER as closing Connecticut’s achievement gap is critical to maintaining the state’s competitive edge,” Marimón said.

“A strong, effective, and equitable educational system is imperative to our state’s long-term success, and I look forward to building long-lasting partnerships across the business community and with other stakeholders in order to maintain the state’s focus on this vital issue.

“This is a systemic challenge that requires the engagement, innovative thinking, and investment of all stakeholders, while building upon the commitment that educators make to students each and every day.”

Marimón brings over 15 years of education and non-profit experience to her new role.

Marimón was director of talent and operations at Connecticut RISE Network, responsible for establishing, advancing, and monitoring organizational goals related to student on-track achievement and college and career readiness. At RISE, she also designed and implemented talent systems and policies, and led new staff recruitment and hiring efforts.

Prior to RISE, Marimón was division director with the talent office for the Connecticut State Department of Education.

During her five years with the state, she provided leadership and support to Connecticut and regional stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of the statewide teacher induction program and educator evaluation and support system.

This included the coordination of review process for all district plans; statewide trainings; state-supported data management systems; and development of monitoring protocols to ensure fidelity of implementation.

Marimón advised school and district leaders on talent management efforts with a focus on using data to drive actionable and meaningful opportunities for educator preparation and growth, design of high-quality systems for professional learning, and identification of effective recruitment, selection, and retention strategies.

Marimón earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, an MLA from Stanford University, and an MBA from Yale University’s School of Management.


CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please email or call Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).

CCER is a statewide, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that works to close the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. We advocate for state policies and local practices that research shows have the best chance of raising achievement for high-need student populations. For more information, visit ctedreform.org.

The CT Candidate’s Guide to Public Education in 2018

In 2018, several organizations that care strongly about public education got together to create a non-partisan guide for gubernatorial candidates about the state of public education in Connecticut. This short document presents facts about public education today, as well as a broad vision for Connecticut’s future.

Our state’s economic vitality and moral integrity depend upon providing a high-quality experience to all public school students. That’s why it is our hope that Connecticut’s 2018 candidates will actively engage with the issues confronting public schools and discuss solutions for improvement.

Seattle Times: Receiver Named for ‘Underperforming’ School District

By Associated Press

Jeffrey Villar will oversee the school district that was placed in state receivership last January after being designated as “chronically underperforming” by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Villar is executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform. He previously served as a school superintendent in Windsor and Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

Read the full article here.

LA Times: Receiver Named for ‘Underperforming’ School District

By Associated Press

Jeffrey Villar will oversee the school district that was placed in state receivership last January after being designated as “chronically underperforming” by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Villar is executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform. He previously served as a school superintendent in Windsor and Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

Read the full article here.

US News: Receiver Named for ‘Underperforming’ School District

By Associated Press

Jeffrey Villar will oversee the school district that was placed in state receivership last January after being designated as “chronically underperforming” by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Villar is executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform. He previously served as a school superintendent in Windsor and Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

Read the full article here.

Hartford Business Journal: Education reform leader Villar to depart CBIA for Mass. job

By Patricia Daddona

Jeffrey Villar is leaving his post as executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform to take a new position with the Southbridge, Mass., school district.

Villar, who also is vice president of education policy at CBIA, has lead CCER since 2013. Last year, he worked with the CCER board and CBIA staff on the formal affiliation of the two organizations.

Read the full article here.

Telegram.com: Connecticut educator is next receiver for Southbridge schools

By Brian Lee

Connecticut educator Jeffrey Villar has been appointed as the next receiver for Southbridge Public Schools, effective Feb. 12.

Mr. Villar is executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform and was a superintendent in Windsor and Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

Read the full article here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–Jeffrey Villar Steps Down from CCER

Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform and vice president of education policy at CBIA, has stepped down from his current roles to take a new position with the Southbridge, Massachusetts school district.

Villar has been at the head of CCER since 2013. Last year, he worked with the CCER board and CBIA staff on the formal affiliation of the two organizations.

During his tenure, Villar’s efforts focused on closing Connecticut’s achievement gap and improving public education.

“Public education is key to sustaining Connecticut’s productive workforce,” said CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan.

“The business community is committed to addressing educational disparities that prevent us from building a robust talent pipeline.

“We thank Jeffrey for his years of service and look forward to seeing him succeed in his next role.”

“CCER’s board looks forward to continuing its partnership with CBIA and is committed to sustaining its mission of narrowing Connecticut’s achievement gap—which we believe is critical to Connecticut’s long-term competitive advantage,” said Steve Simmons, chairman of CCER’s board of directors.

“We wish Jeffrey great success in his new endeavor. He has been a force for good in the education landscape, with achievements in policy and practice.”

Villar has worked in public education for 25 years, serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. In his new role, he is now the state-appointed receiver of the 2,200-student Southbridge School District, and will act as both superintendent and school board committee.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to have been a part of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform,” Villar said.

“Working with Joe and the incredible staff at CBIA to forge a strong affiliation between the organizations has also been a privilege.

“It will ensure that Connecticut takes the steps necessary to close achievement gaps and to address its urgent workforce development needs.”

CBIA and CCER are now in the process of finding a successor for the position.


CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please email or call Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).

CCER is a statewide, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that works to close the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. We advocate for state policies and local practices that research shows have the best chance of raising achievement for high-need student populations. For more information, visit ctedreform.org.

CT Mirror-Lessons from Next Door: Massachusetts is like CT, But Does a Better Job Educating the Poor

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Since then, state lawmakers still haven’t made the changes that preceded Massachusetts’ gains – or they have moved forward more cautiously.

‘Every year we adults play around with whether local control matters or not is a year that kids aren’t getting access to high-quality education in places like Bridgeport,’ said Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, which lobbies at the state Capitol for the state’s chief business coalition.

Read the full article here.

Hartford Courant: Bloomfield’s James Thompson Named Superintendent of the Year

By Steven Goode

During his tenure, the high school graduation rate has increased by 17 percentage points and Bloomfield students have outgained state averages on standardized test scores.

Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, which has worked with Bloomfield schools, said Thompson is a “perfect choice” for the award.

“His 40 years of experience is really paying off for Bloomfield,” Villar said.

Read the full piece here.

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