Decision in Gill-Montague supt. hiring process expected by end of April

  • Gill-Montague Regional School District Superintendent Michael Sullivan is retiring at the end of the school year, and a decision on his replacement is expected by the end of April. Staff File Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 1/8/2020 6:11:08 PM
Modified: 1/8/2020 6:10:29 PM

MONTAGUE — A decision on who will replace Gill-Montague Regional School District Superintendent Michael Sullivan following his retirement at the end of the school year is expected by the end of April.

This week is the last chance for parents, residents and any other interested parties to weigh in via an online survey, available at gmrsd.org under the “Recent News & Updates” section. The survey is available through Friday.

The survey is part of the research being done by the School Committee’s consultant, Tracy Novick, who is from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. The association assists with the logistics of most superintendent searches in Massachusetts, Novick said.

The survey, in terms of the information it asks for, is the same as what Novick discussed with stakeholders in-person during community meetings on Tuesday afternoon. It asks for opinions on what the strengths of the Gill-Montague district are, what the weaknesses are, what qualities might be important for a new superintendent and suggestions for questions that the School Committee may use in interviews.

“The idea here is to describe the needs of this district at this time,” Novick said.

In most cases, Novick said, there are clear trends in the survey results. After reviewing the results, she will summarize them and discuss them with the School Committee at its Jan. 14 meeting. This will be the basis of the job description, which will be finalized in that meeting and publicized soon after, Novick said.

The School Committee will then organize a search committee, which will select candidates from the initial pool of applicants and conduct the preliminary interviews.

The search committee is not a subcommittee of the School Committee, so its meetings and its interviews will not be public. This will draw more applicants, Novick said, because it will allow them to express interest without alerting others, like their present employers.

Membership of the search committee may include a few School Committee members, but it will mostly be other stakeholders, Novick said. In many cases, the search committee is designed according to “slots,” Novick said, such as a position reserved for an elementary school teacher, one for a parent of a high school student, and so on.

The makeup of the search committee will be determined after the School Committee knows how much of a time commitment the work will require, Novick said.

The search committee’s meetings and interviews will most likely take place during the last week of February and the first week of March, so that the names of the final candidates can be announced by March 10, Novick said. The number of final candidates is determined by the School Committee, but in some cases the School Committee defers the decision to the search committee, she added.

All final candidates will be interviewed publicly by the School Committee. The hiring decision is made by the School Committee with no input from the search committee. Novick said a decision will likely be made by the end of April.

 

Reach Max Marcus at mmarcus@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 261.




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