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School, Superintendent Search Committees Focuses on Two Candidates

To visit school sites of superintendents Susan Cote and Ann Bradshaw.

The three semi-finalists in the search for a new superintendent of Norton Public Schools were brought before the School Committee for interviews Monday night, and two have been selected to go through the next phase.

Superintendents Susan Cote of E. Bridgewater Public Schools and Ann Bradshaw of Mashpee Public School made the cut. The School and Superintendent Search Committees will now schedule site visits to their districts.

Deniz Savas said candidate James Kelleher, interim superintendent at Scituate Public Schools, missed the mark and did not give a clear answers. Mackie also noted that because he comes from a district with a school built in 1966 he was expecting to hear more about his ideas for preventative maintenance.

The School Committee generally agreed that while Bradshaw had slower, yet complete answers, Cote showed more energy and got right to the point.

“I thought hands down the first candidate was extremely good,” said School Committee member Andrew Mackie. “I thought she was an excellent fit for Norton. I felt like her communication style was very direct.”

Cote has a master's degree from Boston College and a bachelor's degree from Bridgewater State College. She was the assistant superintendent of the Swansea public schools from 2001 to 2005. She says she has been writing grants since being employed there. She was most recently superintendent at E. Bridgewater Public Schools. Cote also lived through school construction for two years in E. Bridgewater.

Other pluses were the fact she has a long term outlook for her career, a focus on working on a budget and creative ideas for community involvement.

Bradshaw graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Education degree at Bridgewater State College and received a Certificates Of Advanced Graduate Study at Fitchburg State College. Previously she was a teacher in Falmouth, director of curriculum and instruction and assistant superintendent. For the past eight years she has been superintendent of Mashpee School District.

The Superintendent Search Committee members present Monday said that in previous interviews, Bradshaw’s passion for education came through stronger.

“I feel like they are both strong candidates,” Powers said. “If I were in your shoes I would want to investigate both of them further.”

The School and Superintendent Search Committees will make site visits April 2 and possibly April 3. Cote and Bradshaw will be brought in for another interview on a tentative date of April 4, 6 p.m. at Norton Middle School.

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