Meet Stamford Public School Superintendent Dr. Lucero | Stamford Moms

I walked into Dr. Tamu Lucero’s office at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon and one thing was clear from the beginning, she has an endless enthusiasm not only for her new job, but also for the Stamford Public School District, the staff, students and the community as a whole. Just eight days into her new job at that point, she talked about the meetings and dinners she attended until at least 10 p.m. every night that week, with energy and a smile on her face. As we spoke, she credited the community for her excitement.


“I think the thing I like the best is you have a community of people who love the school district,” Lucero explained of why she loves the Stamford Public School District. “People are so prideful of their town. And if you live here, you think that’s normal. But if you lived some place else like me, you don’t hear people say, ‘I’m so proud to be here, I’m so proud to be a part of it.’ I also love the fact that we have community-based partners that just want to help us. I mean, we have 150 people who are always knocking on my door saying, I have an idea for a program, I just got this grant. So our school district doesn’t just stop here. It goes out into the community and they are so supportive of us,” she continued.

(Photo by Bernie Weiss Photos)

Raised in Cincinatti, Ohio, Lucero got her first teaching job out of college in Columbus, Ohio and her career moved quickly. By 25-years-old, she was named the principal of an elementary school there. But it was the year she spent volunteering at a teacher training college in Namibia, Africa that gave her a true appreciation for the field of education. “I got to see why education is so important. People would literally stand in line for days just to fill out an application so they could go to the university. So because of that, it made me come back and want to work even harder in the field of education.” After going back home, Lucero was asked to develop a program to train principals. It was then that she realized she loved coaching principals and developing leaders. That’s what led her to apply for the assistant superintendent of elementary schools job opening in Stamford, CT… a town she’d never heard of before! But even once she was offered the job, Lucero said she had to make sure it would align with her vision. “The one thing that I said to them that I didn’t see in the job description was, my ability to be out in buildings every day with the principals. It was more a job here in central office that you supervise the principals but you weren’t really in their buildings. So after I had that conversation and they were able to adjust that part of the job, I knew that it was the right job for me.”

Last July, Lucero was named deputy superintendent. But, since beginning her job in the Stamford Public School District six years ago, she’s spent every morning in one of the schools. “There’s just something special about these schools and you want your child to start in elementary school and travel along to high school with their friends.” So what is her message to parents who are deciding where to send their children for kindergarten next year? “I would say, give us a shot. We’re going to do our very best. We’re not always going to be perfect. But we are always here to listen and get it right the next time.”

Lucero says the same applies for the mold issues. She is a part of the Mold Taskforce, the group handling the problem and figuring out what to do next. “We are going to make sure we fix the problem and we make sure that this never happens again. We’re going to make sure that our kids go to school in a healthy environment, that our staff is in a very healthy environment,” she explained. “I just think it’s really important that kids feel really good about their school environment and you know, they’re happy and they’re running around. But I know there are things that I feel are unacceptable.” She explained that addressing the issues she feels are “unacceptable” are her biggest goals as superintendent. “I want our schools to look really nice and financially, I want to make sure that we’re always fiscally responsible. So the operations, the finance and the facilities, I really want to focus on those.”

From residing in Stamford Downtown to starting her mornings at a local Pilates studio, Lucero has become a part of the Stamford community. She says part of the reason she’s done that is to make sure parents feel comfortable talking to her. “It’s something about a mom’s gut that I’ve always spoken about and you do the right thing because you have a mom’s gut that’s telling you what to do. So, anything I can do to help feed that, I want to be able to do. I want to be able to answer questions, not have people make up their own narrative in their heads. So, whatever I can do to do that, I would love, love, love to be able to communicate with you all on a regular basis.” Lucero said she’d like to be able to communicate regularly with parents by hosting events and community conversations in the future.

Lucero says that at this point one thing is for sure, she’s exactly where she wants to be. “I had other opportunities to go places as superintendent and I knew this was the place I wanted to be. So I don’t work here because I have to, I work here because I want to. I love being here, I love living here, I live right downtown, I can walk here. There’s nothing about Stamford I don’t enjoy.”

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