Ex-Wellesley school official at center of Newton plagiarism controversy

Newton Public Schools Superintendent David Fleishman, who has been fined one week of pay after sort of acknowledging that he didn’t credit Gov. Deval Patrick for contents of two graduation speeches delivered last month, used to be a Wellesley Public Schools administrator.

Credit: Newton Public Schools

Credit: Newton Public Schools

The Lion’s Roar, Newton South’s student newspaper, broke the story after a reporter recognized similarities between the Fleishman and Patrick speeches, and Newton’s school committee issued its findings this week.

Fleishman joined WPS in 2002 as an assistant superintendent, and stayed until 2005, when he was hired as superintendent of Chappaqua Central School District in New York. At the time, the Chappaqua’s school organization touted Fleishman’s accomplishments in Wellesley: “Fleishman helped to maintain Wellesley Public Schools academic excellence during a time of severe state budget shortfalls and was responsible for instituting several successful professional development initiatives. He was instrumental in the planning and design of a major renovation to the middle school and was commended on his close work with the community throughout the process.”

Newton hired Fleishman in 2010 to lead its schools.

As school administrators are finding these days, it’s tough to take shortcuts on their speeches. Mansfield’s superintendent recently resigned following a commencement speech plagiarism controversy.

And last year, a California school district trustee¬†caught flak for grabbing liberally and without attribution a bunch of Wellesley High School teacher¬†David McCullough, Jr.’s famous “You’re Not Special Speech,” .

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