— Eye on Everett —

Who Will be the Next Superintendent of Schools?

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By Josh Resnek

If everything being discussed turns out to occur in a timely fashion, there will be a new superintendent of public schools in Everett by December 31.

It is incredible to think that such a selection process can be managed and successfully completed in so short a time during this age of mind numbing bureaucracy.

The feeling some months back was that there needed to be a worldwide search if necessary to find someone, anyone, from very far away, with no connection to this city, its parents or its students and teachers, to lead the school department in the three years to come.

Over the months of inertia, a somewhat altered view has emerged among a number of the school committee members.

There is now the belief shared a by a number of school committee members that maybe Everett needs continuity more than someone new, knowing professionals who understand the city and its needs, rather than say, some from Santa Fe who comes here and very possibly never attends a football game at Everett Memorial Stadium or comes to know the difference between Glendale and Everett Squares.

Why the change of heart by some school committee members even before the process has played itself out?

Because these thinking members of the school committee understand something about the status quo here.

The status quo here is a pretty good situation for nearly everyone involved.

Maintaining that status quo might just be less complicated and more successful than inviting a stranger to town, no matter how qualified, to enter the quicksand of Everett social, economic and political life to run a public school system that has at least 1 million moving parts.

Enter Janice Gauthier.

The acting superintendent has tossed her hat into the ring.

She’d like to be the next full-time superintendent.

Why not?

She fits the perfect pro forma for leadership of the school department. As just about the longest serving school administrator, there is nothing she does not know about regarding the Everett public schools. Teachers like her. Administrators like her.

She keeps to herself. She does her thing. She wants no fanfare. Also, she has led the public schools already for many months with not a hint of doubt or indecision or gaffes of any kind. Some would say Gauthier is a perfect candidate. There would be no learning curve.

She is appointed December 31.

She takes over the first week of January.

Not a step is lost.

Assistant superintendent Charlie Obremski has been mulling whether or not to apply for the superintendency.

He too would be a solid candidate for superintendent. Why?

Because Obremski, like Gauthier, knows his way around the school department as well as the city.

There is no controversy surrounding any and all of Obremski’s work load.

Everyone knows him. He knows everyone.

Obremski as superintendent would be a simple switchover with no learning curve.

What to do?

We tend to agree with the thinking of those school committee folks who believe a super qualified local is better to chose than someone from out of town.

We’re not against out of towners. We’re just against taking a big chance with an out of towner that turns out to be not the right fit, and leaves shortly after beginning.

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