Falmouth board to appoint interim superintendent, new middle school principal
FALMOUTH —The School Board plans to appoint an interim superintendent for a one-year contract at its next regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 24.
During a special executive session on Feb. 13, Chairwoman Beppie Cerf said, the board reached a consensus to hold off until fall to begin looking for a permanent replacement for Superintendent George Entwistle, who will be leaving the end of June to become superintendent of schools in Belmont, Mass.
Cerf said the board chose to wait until it could "be in the national loop," which she said wouldn't start up until after the beginning of the next school year.
"Why be rushed?," she said. "We want to be thoughtful and pragmatic."
Though the board's decision won't be official until it has discussed the issue in front of the public next Tuesday, Assistant Superintendent Barbara
Powers will likely be given the interim assignment.
Powers, the assistant superintendent since 2004, has worked in the School Department since 1998, Cerf said. And for nearly 20 years before coming to Falmouth, she worked in both teaching and administrative positions for the Cape Elizabeth school system, most recently as an elementary school principal.
"She is fully certified (to be a superintendent) and has been involved in the decisions that Falmouth has made," Cerf said. "While some would say an interim means a holding place, that to me isn't the situation. We expect the interim superintendent to move our educational endeavors forward and Barbara could lead. She could meet those needs."
While refusing to acknowledge the board's inclination, board member Mark Terison said members "have a candidate who's in the system and knows the system," but added they wanted to discuss their options publicly before reaching a decision.
Though the choice of an interim will be the board's, Terison said its search for a permanent replacement will include plenty of opportunities for public input.
As for Entwistle's departure, Terison said it was "bittersweet."
"It's wonderful for our school system to have others looking at it; it says a lot for the way George is leading us," he said. "But it's bittersweet to lose him. He's been a leader for nearly five years and I think he's done a superb job."
In other business next week:
• Entwistle will make a public recommendation and the board will vote on the appointment of Middle School interim Principal Sue Palfrey to become the school's permanent principal.
• The board will hold its second reading and invite public discussion on next year's school calendar, which varies considerably from the current calendar, Cerf said. Two of the changes will eliminate early release days and the number of days off during Thanksgiving week.