Superintendent Interviews Begin Saturday

by | Jan 9, 2020

By Sophia Aigner

At the first meeting of the new year as well as the first meeting without Victor Mercurio as superintendent, the School Committee Tuesday night got an update on the search for his replacement.

Joseph Erardi of JE Consulting, hired by the School Committee in November to manage the search, said 25 people had applied for the position – the deadline for applications was Jan. 3. He said he was “very pleased with the depth and breadth of the applicant pool.”

Erardi said he had heard from more than 350 people about what they were looking for in a new superintendent, including faculty, staff and community members, through meetings and an online survey. That information is designed to help the hiring committee with its interviews – what they decide to ask candidates and how they weigh the responses. 

The hiring committee will interview candidates the next two Saturdays. Chairwoman Carolyn Mark declined to say how many candidates they would be interviewing. 

Ultimately, the decision of who to hire belongs with the School Committee alone, Mark said, but there are advisory members on the hiring committee who will participate in the interviews as well, including one member from each of the three bargaining units (teacher, paraprofessional, custodial), two Central Office employees, and one parent representative each from the PTG and the Special Ed Advisory Committee (SEAC).

“Their voices will be heard in this process,” Mark said.

If all goes according to the plan Erardi outlined in November, a new superintendent could be appointed in early February with a start date of July 1.

Also Tuesday, interim Supt. Frank Pallotta spoke about his transition into his new role. 

“It’s been great,” he said.

In addition to meeting with all six building principals, Pallotta said he’d met with Town Manager Andrew Nota and Town Council President Mark Schwager. With the principals, he discussed the objectives of the school year. He told the School Committee he was “impressed with the administrators and what they’re doing.”

The School Committee’s next regular meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Reporter Sophia Aigner is a senior at East Greenwich High School.

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