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SCHOOLS: Superintendent Search Ends Without Selection of New Leader

The School Committee voted unanimously at a special meeting on Jan. 18 to end their search for a new Superintendent and to undergo a new search next fall. The vote followed the school committee's meeting on Jan. 16 where members could not reach a consensus around one of the three finalists selected by the Screening Committee. The decision to end the Superintendent search was also made inevitable by news stories that reported the School Committee had different views on the finalists and couldn't find consensus on any one of them.

Those news reports were partly attributed to the withdrawal of two of the three finalists: Ann Bradshaw, Superintendent of Mashpee Public Schools and Dr. Marie Galinski, Superintendent of Beverly Public Schools. With their withdrawal, the school committee had little choice but to end the search and begin anew in the fall.

With the search ended, the School Committee will begin negotiations with Interim Superintendent Anthony Bent to stay for another school year.

When School Committee members opened discussion on the three finalists at their Jan. 16 meeting, it quickly became evident that a majority of board members were not enthusiastic about the three choices. It was also evident there was no consensus in favor of one candidate. Opinions varied about the qualities of the candidates and whether those qualities represented a good fit for the school district. Some school committee members expressed reservations about the leadership abilities of the candidates and if any one of the finalists could improve on an already high performing school district. Other reservations centered on whether any one of the candidates would adapt to the demographic differences between Groton-Dunstable District and the District where they are currently Superintendent.

In discussing the candidates, differences emerged from school committee member. On Ann Bradshaw, School Committee member John Giger noted she had very strong connection to the community. However, School Committee member Leslie Lahrop noted it was difficult to judge her relationship to the school committee.

On Marie Galinski, Giger said that comments from the Beverly School Committee were very positive. However, during Groton-Dunstable's interview, Giger noted that Galinski was reluctant to commit herself to spending additional time with the Committee.

On Maureen Ward, most school committee members agreed she was the most enthusiastic of the candidates and did a fantastic job in making great strides in improving student performance in a low-performing school district in New Hampshire. Most members also agreed that she was good on budgeting. However, some members thought turning around a low-performing school district if vastly different from improving a high performing school district.

Groton Herald

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