February 3, 2017 -- The North Shore School Board announced at its January 26 meeting that the pool of candidates they have been considering to replace retiring Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick has been culled from fifteen to somewhere between one and six.
Trustee Sara Jones announced that interviews of the finalists would begin the following week. She emphasized the importance of maintaining confidentiality to ensure that the district attracted the most highly qualified candidates.
During the Public Comment portion of the meeting, former Board member Darlene Galati, who served when Dr. Melnick had been appointed to his current position, asked specifically how many candidates remained, to which Board President Toni Labatte said she did not want to reveal the number as it could undermine the confidentiality of the candidates, but that it was somewhere between one and six. The former board member replied that she did not understand how offering up the number would have that effect.
Trustee Labatte continued that after the interviews, the Board would decide as a group what the next step in the process would be "depending on who was left."
Ms. Galati asked if there would be an opportunity for community involvement after the pool has been narrowed further. Trustee Labatte replied that there already had been an opportunity for community involvement this past fall when meetings were held to help the board develop a candidate profile.
“There’s not going to be an opportunity for a committee of parents or stakeholders to meet with any of the finalists?” Ms. Galati asked. “No,” replied Trustee Labatte. Ms. Galati asked if there would be site visits with the finalists. Trustee Labatte replied that the board was intending to do that.
Ms. Galati said that she believed it was important for whoever the board chose to hire to have had central office experience.
Tim Madden of Northwordnews then addressed the board saying that he had recalled that at meetings this past fall and last spring, it had been indicated that there would be such an opportunity for community members and other stakeholders to meet with the finalists. Trustee Labatte replied that she was surprised to read that in Northwordnews and that the Board had never said it would hold such meetings.
Northwordnews issued the following correction to its January 18 article on the Superintendent search: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the hiring process would include forums at which community members would have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of the two or three finalists. While that was discussed as a possibility by the search firm at at least one public meeting, it was never agreed to by the school board. There will be no such opportunity.
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