Paolucci resigns as Yarmouth school chief, accepts Mass. job

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YARMOUTH — After considering several job offers, Superintendent of Schools Judy Paolucci has accepted the school chief job in Leicester, Mass.

Paolucci formally resigned at a special meeting of the School Committee Friday morning, and is to be succeeded on an interim basis by former Yarmouth school administrator Ronald Barker.

“It’ll be a new challenge, but for me that’s always exciting,” Paolucci said Thursday. “I met great people and it looks like a great administrative team. I’m looking forward to working with that team and their school committee. They have a great vision and getting the opportunity to help them achieve that is a great thing.”

Paolucci’s last workday in Yarmouth will be Jan. 27. She said she still has plenty of work to do before the move.

“Right now the focus is on ensuring a good transition; there’s a lot of good things happening” she said, noting she still has to get Yarmouth’s budget in place, negotiate a teachers contract and continue work on safety at the schools.

Paolucci was a finalist for the superintendent job in two other school districts. The Leicester position was offered to her on Dec. 8.

Barker’s contract, which was approved by the committee Friday morning, will have him work Jan. 22-June 30, 2013, School Committee Chairwoman Abby Diggins said. He will be paid $500 per day, plus expenses, as interim superintendent.

The committee will hold a meeting Jan. 3 to form a search committee and hire a search firm, Diggins said.

“We wish (Paolucci) well and thank her for her hard work and everything she’s put into our school,” Diggins said. “She’s made progress and done a nice job.”

Barker, who most recently was the executive director of the Maine State Superintendent’s Association and deputy executive director of the Maine School Management Association, worked in the Yarmouth School Department for 17 years as a teacher, coach and principal. He also was superintendent of School Administrative District 6 in Buxton for 10 years.

Barker said he welcomes the opportunity to work again in Yarmouth.

“I know the town and I know the people are great,” he said Thursday, noting he has lived in Yarmouth for 45 years and had all his children go through the school system. “It’s where I started my career and it’s where I’ll end it.”

Paolucci has been superintendent in Yarmouth since 2009 and said she wanted to be closer to family members who live in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Previously, she was a teacher and administrator in Rhode Island.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.

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