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This profile was last updated on 2/12/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Kermit Carolina

Wrong Kermit Carolina?


Hillhouse High School

Employment History

  • Principal
    James Hillhouse High School
  • Coach
  • Principal
  • Boys Basketball Coach
  • Principal
    New Haven Public Schools

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Wilbur Cross High School
  • Southern Connecticut State University
  • bachelor's degree , science
  • master's degree , education
166 Total References
Web References
Peter Hvizdak - New Haven ..., 12 Feb 2014 [cached]
Peter Hvizdak - New Haven Register file photo Attorney Joseph D. Garrison speaks to the New Haven Register about his client Shirley Love Joyner and her lawsuit against Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina and Carolina's lawyer Michael Jefferson for defamation of character.
NEW HAVEN >> Former James Hillhouse High School administrator Shirley Joyner reached an agreement in a defamation lawsuit against the Board of Education and now is turning her attention to a similar case against Hillhouse Principal Kermit Carolina and his attorney, Michael Jefferson.
The settlement fully resolves the pending litigation that stemmed from Joyners allegations that Carolina was aware of grade tampering and improper granting of credits for student-athletes at the school.
Carolina served three days of unpaid suspension for his alleged involvement in the grade tampering. He has denied the allegations and is seeking to have them overturned.
Joyners attorney, Joseph D. Garrison, of Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Richardson, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, PC, filed the lawsuit against Carolina and Jefferson in 2012 at Superior Court in New Haven.
Neither New Haven Public Schools spokeswoman Abbe Smith nor Carolina responded to requests for comment.
Kermit ..., 6 Nov 2013 [cached]
Kermit Carolina Hillhouse High School
Former New Haven mayoral candidate ..., 21 Jan 2014 [cached]
Former New Haven mayoral candidate Kermit Carolina is the principal of Hillhouse High School.
Kermit Carolina has plans to ..., 1 June 2013 [cached]
Kermit Carolina has plans to improve New Haven if elected mayor
New Haven-- Hillhouse High School principal Kermit Carolina, candidate in New Haven mayoral race. Photo-Peter Casolino/Register
NEW HAVEN - During his 45 years living in the city, Kermit Carolina said he has visited every neighborhood.
So when he debated running for mayor, he thought, "If not me, then who?"
If elected, Carolina said his core question when making any decision will be, "How do the residents of New Haven benefit from this?"
Professional Experience
Carolina is in his third year as principal of James Hillhouse High School. Prior to becoming principal, he was a head coach of a championship basketball team, assistant principal at Hillhouse and history teacher at Riverside Education Academy.
Carolina likens the transformation of Hillhouse in the past three years to the transformation he can bring to the city. He said it boils down to a leader being able to develop a vision and lead change.
When Carolina initially debated taking on the role as principal, he met with different schools in New York, Chicago and Boston to learn about their innovative approaches to transforming the schools. Next, Carolina invited students, parents and other stakeholders to develop a shared vision with him for the school. Lastly, he recruited a team of experts to aid in strengthening the weakest areas - in Hillhouse's case, grade instructional and cultural leadership.
To date, the graduation rate at Hillhouse has increased by 25 percent since Carolina became principal, according to assistant principal John Nguyen, who is in charge of data.
Additionally, the dropout rate has decreased by 33 percent and parental participation has tripled since Carolina took over, according to Nguyen.
In 2012, the Board of Education accused Carolina of being involved in a grade and credit tampering scandal that benefited student athletes. The allegations claimed Carolina was aware that a retired teacher altered course descriptions and eliminated references to courses being taken during summer school for student athletes.
Carolina later was subject to a three-day unpaid suspension. Carolina and his attorney, Michael Jefferson, denied the charges and have since been in arbitration in an attempt to clear his name.
Slate says Carolina was known for telling students, "No books, no ball.
Though Carolina was disturbed by the allegations, he said he was inspired by his own heroes and "sheroes" to fight for what he believed in.
Carolina said he is unable to discuss how the case may affect his candidacy because the case is still in arbitration. He said he stands by his original claims and is looking forward to the results delivered by an unbiased and independent judge.
Two-parent households, where at least one parent is employed, will help create the right environment for children to prosper in, according to Carolina. Carolina said while he applauds single parents, he can't imagine there is a single parent who wouldn't benefit from sharing the responsibility of raising a child. He said the whole city would have to advocate for two-parent households for change to happen.
After growing up in poverty, in a single-parent household, Carolina said he personally understands the role a child's home life plays in the grand scheme of things. He said children need to grow up in nurturing homes where they are actively engaged from birth and are given the tools to be successful beyond their household.
"I believe that the biggest indicator to determine if a child will become successful is whether or not they have at least one positive, responsible adult in their life, that raised expectations for them and provided guidance through their developmental process," Carolina said.
After recently taking a group of students to visit a prison, Carolina said he realized many of the prisoners lack basic skills that are necessary to survive in society. He said vocabulary, cognitive skills and reading levels should be of importance from an early age to ensure children are equipped with the right tools.
In terms of reentry programs for prisoners, Carolina said the intervention needs to take place prior to the prisoners' release. Carolina cited a United Way of Greater New Haven program, "Emerge," as a classic example of a solid reentry program. Emerge works with convicted felons to teach them academic skills as well as life skills, according to Carolina. Carolina said the program also teaches reading and writing for prisoners who need it. Carolina sits on the board of United Way.
"So when we talk about early childhood development, making sure our kids are reading on grade level, that's real to me, it's not just a statement; I've lived it, I see it and I'm connected to the people who are impacted by it directly," Carolina said.
An effort to expand pre-natal to age 8 programs would ensure child development, Carolina said. The candidate added he would also make sure every eligible preschooler has access to preschool programs in the city.
curbing CRIME
Carolina's approach to crime is two-fold; he focuses on the importance of preventative measures as well as civil injunctions for criminals who refuse to adjust.
On the preventative end, Carolina proposed wrap-around services for youth believed to be "highly-at-risk" of joining violent gangs. These services will provide personalized care and intervention for the individuals. He also proposed more street cameras and better street lights as a crime deterrent. If elected, Carolina said he will support community policing in each neighborhood. Continued...
In terms of those already committing crimes in the city, Carolina said he wants to provide the offenders with the opportunity and support to become productive members of the city; if they don't "heed the call," he said more action needs to take place. Carolina said he is not interested in coddling criminals who have "no regard for human life."
"I'm prepared to drag them all into court and place a civil injunction on them," Carolina emphasized.
A commuter tax is one way to add a source of revenue to the city, Carolina said. The candidate said he would also authorize forensic audits of the public school systems' budgets to find areas for savings. Carolina added that giving residents an advantage when applying for city jobs will keep people here and thus benefit the city through property taxes.
In regard to the policies surrounding pay, Carolina said he was disturbed by a recent report, "The Status of Women & Girls in New Haven, Connecticut," which reported that in New Haven, women earn $5,000 less than men on average. The report was written by the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Particularly with the concentration of single female households in the city, Carolina plans to make equal pay for equal work a priority if elected.
Personal Life
Carolina was born at the Yale-New Haven Hospital on Sept. 24, 1967 and has since lived, attended school and raised his children in New Haven. Carolina spent part of his childhood in the Elm Haven Public Housing Project with his mother and brother while his father served in Vietnam. Carolina also lived with his grandmother. His family came to New Haven from Kingstree, South Carolina.
Carolina said his experiences growing up in the projects give him a better understanding of poverty and ways to tackle it.
He graduated from Wilbur Cross High School in 1986, and worked for two years before attending Southern Connecticut State University. He received his bachelor's degree in science with minors in political science, history and sociology. He received his master's degree in education from Southern.
While attending Southern, Carolina met his wife, Kimberly. The pair married in 1995 and have two boys, Malyk, 16, and Kobe, 12. Malyk attends Hillhouse; Kobe attends Edgewood School.
When he's not running for mayor or at the high school, Carolina enjoys reading and watching sports.
"My resume in this city says I've walked the walk, for almost three decades in this city, and I've been committed to change, I've been on the front line of change," Carolina said.
New Haven-- Hillhouse High ..., 20 July 2013 [cached]
New Haven-- Hillhouse High School principal Kermit Carolina, candidate in New Haven mayoral race. Photo-Peter Casolino/Register
NEW HAVEN >> James Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina is charging that state Sen. Toni Harp's mayoral campaign offered competing candidate Sundiata Keitazulu a job if she wins the mayoral seat, something her campaign and Keitazulu both vigorously deny.
"It is my understanding that Sundiata was offered a job in her administration if he accepted a role of attack surrogate against all the other candidates generally, but against me in particular," Carolina said in a press release.
There continue to be five candidates in the Democratic mayoral race for now: Alderman Justin Elicker, former city Economic Development Administrator Henry Fernandez, Keitazulu, Carolina and Harp, who has been a state senator for the past two decades.
The tone of the dozen mayoral debates changed markedly this week, with sharp exchanges between Kietazulu and Carolina, while Keitazulu also criticized Fernandez and Elicker.
Carolina said the Harp campaign has set a pattern of "using African-American men to attack me," and he referred to state Rep.
The fight between Carolina and Keitazulu continued Friday night.
Keitazulu said Carolina should apologize to him for saying, at the most recent debate, "Brother, I was more of a parent to your child than you were."
Carolina made the remark after Keitazulu charged that as principal, Carolina supports a "don't come to school, I've got you covered" policy that is lenient on students who have poor attendance.
Carolina made the remark after Keitazulu charged that as principal, Carolina supports a "don't come to school, I've got you covered" policy that is lenient on students who have poor attendance.
"Mr. Carolina needs to grow up and act like a respectful man," he said.
Carolina said the apology should come from Kietazulu.
"He knows he needs to apologize and make amends because of the conditions he helped to create in Newhallville," Carolina said.
On June 19, Holder-Winfield criticized Carolina for the low marks teachers at Hillhouse gave the school in a district survey, with only 12 percent of them saying they would recommend the school to their friends and colleagues, a 16-percent drop from the previous year; only 10 percent agreed that order and discipline was consistently maintained.
"Gary was doing what he was accustomed to doing - someone else's bidding in order to advance his political career by getting Toni's support for what he thinks will be her vacated state Senate seat," Carolina said.
Carolina was critical of Garris supporting Harp, who is promoting Garris' "160-day rule" at all the high schools.
Carolina dropped the rule and Garris has since clarified that the policy was meant to establish an atmosphere were attendance was taken seriously, but not to hold back students who passed their courses but had poor attendance.
Carolina said "the voters are not stupid" and will agree with him in his criticisms. "I'm about truth and rightousness. I tell the truth and stand up for what is right."
As far as policies are concerned, he said they have been on his website for some time for all to see.
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