Did Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh float his first candidate for superintendent of schools, saying Tuesday night that he would “absolutely consider” his former rival for mayor as a contender for the job?
“He’s certainly very educated,” Walsh said of Councilor at Large John R. Connolly.
Walsh made his comments on NECN’s “BroadSide,” with Jim Braude, who asked if the thought of Connolly as superintendent had “even crossed your mind for a nanosecond.”
“Meaning,” Braude asked, “if you had a conversation with him and he said [he was ] interested, would you consider him?”
“John is somebody that I wouldn’t rule out,” Walsh said.
“You’re half smiling,” Braude continued.
To be fair, the mayor doesn’t select the superintendent; the School Committee does. But Boston’s mayor, who appoints committee members, carries considerable clout in choosing a superintendent.
The search to replace Carol R. Johnson, who retired in August, had been put on hold until a new mayor was elected. It became one of the campaign’s hot-button issues, with Walsh saying he would look outside the school system for a successor.
Connolly, who graduated from Harvard and made education the cornerstone of his candidacy, spent two years as a teacher in Manhattan and another year teaching in a Boston charter school. But he turned to law, graduating from Boston College Law School.
After losing to Walsh, Connolly said he did not see a spot for himself in the new administration. His dream was mayor, and Connolly previously had said that if the dream were deferred, he would seek work with an education reform group or a charter school.
Connolly could not be reached for comment Tuesday.