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School Committee Vows to Begin Search For a New Superintendent in 60-90 Days

By Josh Resnek

The search to replace interim Schools Superintendent Janet Gauthier will begin within 60-90 days, according to a non binding timeline set out by School Committeeman David Ela at a special meeting held at school administration headquarters on Vine Street
Monday night.

The search is expected to take 6-9 months. It requires that a search commission be chosen and that a proper advertisement be drawn up and then a search initiated.

“We need to start the process. This is a long and complicated effort. We could have as many as 150 applicants,” Ela told his colleagues at a sub-committee hearing.

The School Committee then agreed to set Mrs. Gauthier’s salary at $190,000 with an additional $1,250 for car expenses and an additional payment of $4,200 to provide for her longevity requirement as she has served more than four decades with the School
Department.

Mrs. Gauthier graciously thanked the School Committee.

She said she would also continue to wear two hats – one as Director of Curriculum and another as the interim superintendent.

“I request that a part-time curriculum head be appointed to help me out,” she asked. School Committeeman Frank Parker cautioned his colleagues from getting too fired up about choosing a new superintendent before the independent investigation into former Superintendent of Schools Frederick Foresteire is completed.

“Let’s move forward but let’s proceed with caution,” he said.

Mrs. Gauthier said the School Committee needed to create a vision for “what we want.”

Ela said he will be reaching out to the Massachusetts Association of School Committees to head the superintendent search.

The search was estimated to cost as much as $150,000.

Assistant Superintendent Charlie Obremski told the Shool Committee that a new superintendent would likely serve 3 1/2 years at maximum before seeking employment in another community.

“This is the industry standard,” he said. He noted that 14 employees of the School Department are certified as potential full time superintendents.

This prompted School Committee Chair Frank Abruzesse to say he wanted a global search.

“I would find  it incomprehensible if we did anything else but that,” he said. Obremski added: “Whoever we choose, we want someone who does not come in at 8 and leaves at 4. The new superintendent should live here and be part of the community.”

The School Committee agreed that Mrs. Gauthier and others qualified locally could submit their applications when the time comes.

Otherwise, it appeared the sentiments of some School Committee members was for an
outside choice.

The School Committee also approved Richard Galvin as its new attorney with a year-to-year contract to be handed out to him at a salary that was not announced.

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