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Superintendent Search Goes Back to the Drawing Board

Interim superintendent to be hired until permanent replacement found.

The Norton School Committee voted to start the search for a new superintendent from scratch at Monday night’s meeting.

After discussing the options, the Committee decided that the best course of action is to hire an interim superintendent until a permanent selection is made. When word got out that contract negotiations failed with Ann Bradshaw of Mashpee School District, three or four possible candidates  came forward interested in an interim position.

“With an interim, you are going to get someone in who was already a superintendent,” said  Superintendent Search Committee chairwoman and School Committee member Beth McManus. “They have also worked in other school districts. They are knowledgeable.”

The Committee decided against going with one of the other finalists because they do not want to settle.

“I would assume that the people who didn’t make it far enough to sit in front of us were not people who we felt were particularly suited to fill that role,” said Committee member Deniz Savas. “I don’t want to go back and say, ‘This was someone who wasn’t really good enough, but we’ll give them a shot.’ I’m very comfortable with a decision to move on.”

The search will begin again in September when a fresh pool of people will be looking for the position.

“I think that to start now in a search would be the wrong thing to do,” said School Committee and Superintendent Search Committee member Marge Werner. “Most people have settled into positions.”

“Maybe [we’ll get] in front of the rest of the people looking for a superintendent,” McManus added.

McManus noted that throughout the screening process, they will try to get candidates not already negotiating with other school districts to avoid the same problem they ran into with Bradshaw.

When the Superintendent Search Committee submitted their recommendations to the School Committee, the group was dissolved since their job had been deemed complete. As a result, a new Committee will be formed. This time, approximately nine volunteers will screen candidates, as opposed to the 17 they organized last November. Former members McManus and Marge Werner said 17 was too large a group.

The Committee will first look at the resumes of people who have already expressed interest, then open it up if necessary.

“I know this is a let down. It’s another year of indecision. We tried our best to get a superintendent in here,” McManus said. “We are not going to pick anybody just to pick anybody.

“It’s a disappointment to us, but we want to do the right thing.”

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