The Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee launched its search for a permanent superintendent of schools last week, posting the position and beginning to recruit members for the Screening Committee. School committee member Leslie Lathrop chairs the Screening Committee. G-DRSD Human Resources Director Jeanne Mitchell will “assist” the Steering Committee. It can also tap the executive search resources of New England School Development Council (NESDEC), a “a private, not-for-profit educational organization.” As in previous searches, a NESDEC consultant will work with the District and facilitate the search process.
School committee member Jim Frey will not be on the screening committee, but will handle communications with the public about the search. According to Frey, interim Superintendent Tony Bent will serve as “an outside adviser not directly involved” with the search. Bent, who has been very active as a member of the state’s association of superintendents through much of his career, will not take an active role in any of the interviews, private or public. The School Committee is expected, however, to draw on his expertise in working for NESDEC as well as his background in human resources, which are a few of many reasons he was chosen for the interim post.
The superintendent’s job posting reads:
“The Groton-Dunstable Regional School District invites qualified candidates to apply for the position of Superintendent of Schools. The Groton-Dunstable Regional School District, located in northern Massachusetts, serves 2,638 students Pre-K-12 in the towns of Groton and Dunstable. Both towns are highly desirable because of their natural scenic environment, classic New England town centers, and strong community spirit. The residents of both communities are committed to and supportive of a strong school system. The District’s students are served in an Early Childhood Center, two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. Exciting programs and activities offer students motivating opportunities. The successful candidate for the position must have experience as a teacher and school administrator. Central office experience is necessary. A background in regional schools enhances the candidacy.The School Committee offers a multi-year contract with a competitive salary for the region commensurate with qualifications and experience, and a competitive benefits package. The starting date will be on or about July 1, 2013. Review of applications will begin on November 20, 2012.”
A quick Google search shows that the posting is already well distributed to many school and general job sites.
Once the resumes are in, the screening committee’s schedule is short and intense – all day on Saturday, December 8, and then weekday evenings between December 14 and 21, and possibly a “contingency day” on December 22. Screening committee meetings are not open to the public because the state open meeting law allows closed meetings for dealing with some personnel and hiring matters. They are expected to forward a slate of 4-6 candidates to the School Committee in time for its January 9, 2013, meeting. The School Committee will then schedule public interviews with the finalists and site visits to the candidates’ current districts during January and February. The goal is to complete the search by late February or early March to allow for maximum overlap between the interim and incoming superintendents.
Frey explained that the makeup of the screening committee is almost the same as the last search committee, but the teachers’ representation has changed slightly. Last time, the School Committee specified that one of the teachers must be from grades K-4 and the other from grades 5-12. This year, the teachers will determine who will fill the two seats on the screening committee without any defining criteria from the School Committee.
The screening committee will be chaired by Lathrop, who will not be a voting member, and include: two members of the District’s Administrative Council, two teachers, one support staff representative, a selectman or designee from the Board of Selectmen of both Groton and Dunstable, a student, two parents from different schools, one Special Education Parent Advisory Council representative, one senior citizen (at large), one non-parent community member (at large) and two representatives from school support organizations (Groton Dunstable Alliance For Youth, Groton Dunstable Educational Foundation, school PTOs, etc.) to be chosen randomly from a pool of names submitted by the organizations.
While each of the organizations with slot on the screening committee will designate their representatives, the parent and at-large positions are open to residents of both towns. People interested in serving as a community, parent, or senior citizen representative can should send their name, contact information and the slot they are interested in to Human Resources Director Jeanne Mitchell at [email protected] before Friday, November 9, 2012. Applicants must be available for all of the times set aside for the Steering Committee meetings, including a contingency day on December 22 (all day) and the January 9, 2013, presentation of the finalists to the School Committee.