Yarmouth school chief vacancy draws nearly 2 dozen applicants

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YARMOUTH — About 20 candidates have submitted applications to the School Committee for the vacant superintendent of schools job.

A School Department search committee will review the applications in the next few weeks with assistance from a consulting firm, Future Management Systems, hired to help select a new superintendent.

“We’ve gotten a really great candidate pool,” said Margaret Groban, School Committee member and chairwoman of the search committee. “We’re all reviewing the applications and looking forward to picking the best candidate for our town.”

FMS will put together a leadership profile, Groban said, that will describe what the committee is looking for in a prospective candidate. The profile should be available on the School Department website within the next week, she said.

Since the deadline, the 13 search committee members – residents, teachers, administrators, and town and school officials – are now reviewing the applications individually and will regroup to narrow down the field to about half a dozen candidates to be interviewed in early April.

After the initial interviews, the candidates will be trimmed further to three or four finalists, who will then be interviewed by the School Committee. Site visits also will be conducted in Yarmouth and at the candidates’ respective current schools.

The committee’s goal is to have a finalist considered by May 9 and have a new superintendent begin July 1, although the start date is tentative and depends on the selected candidate’s existing contract.

Because much of the hiring process is conducted confidentially, it’s likely the candidates may not be known until late in the process. 

The superintendent search began in February, following former Superintendent Judy Paolucci’s resignation Dec. 21, 2012, to head the Leicester, Mass., School Department.

Paolucci was superintendent in Yarmouth for about four years and said she left to be closer to relatives who live in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Ron Barker, a former superintendent and Yarmouth school administrator, is heading the department on an interim basis through the end of June.

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

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Yarmouth school budget review begins

YARMOUTH — The School Committee is scheduled to deliver its fiscal year 2014 budget to the Town Council Thursday night.

The committee voted March 14 to send the budget to the council.

Committee member Tim Wheaton will present an overview of the school budget  before the council votes whether to accept the spending plan for review.

According the latest budget drafts, the municipal budget will essentially remain flat, while the school budget could grow, depending on the level of state aid.

If the state shifts teacher retirement costs to local school departments, which would mean about $266,000 in added costs, the school budget will increase by about 3.1 percent from this year, to about $22 million.

If the state funds teacher retirement, the budget will increase 1.8 percent from this year, about the same amount it grew a year ago.

Here is the budget review and approval schedule:

• School budget delivered to council, March 21.

• Initial public budget hearing and council approval, April 18.

• Final public budget hearing, approval of election warrants, May 3.

• Annual Town Meeting, June 5.

• Town election and budget ratification referendum, June 12.

— Will Graff