The Somerville School Committee has launched a nation-wide search for a new Superintendent of Schools. Current Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi announced earlier this year that he would retire in July 2015 after ten years of distinguished service to the Somerville Public Schools.
“We, as a Committee, are committed to ensuring the search for a new Superintendent will be open, transparent, inclusive, and professionally managed,” stated Christine Rafal, Chair of the School Committee. “We will take special steps to welcome the views from all members of every part of our community.”
Chair Rafal appointed Ward Six School Committee member Paul Bockelman to chair the Superintendent Search Committee, which will include every member of the School Committee including Mayor Curtatone and William White, President of the Somerville Board of Aldermen.
The School Committee has hired an experienced search consultant to assist in the search. In addition, the School Committee established a Preliminary Screening Subcommittee that will include four members of the School Committee plus three members of the public. The Preliminary Screening Subcommittee will be charged with narrowing the applicant pool to a small group of finalists. All finalist interviews will be conducted in public.
“The first step in the Superintendent search process is to identify the characteristics we are seeking in our new Superintendent,” explained Mr. Bockelman. “We ask all residents of the City and members of the Somerville Public Schools community to assist in this important task.”
Community members can participate in three ways:
First, the search consultant will be holding three open forums to hear from the public and to identify and prioritize the most desirable characteristics in a Superintendent. These public forums will be:
• Monday, September 15th at 7:00 p.m. at the East Somerville Community School. This session will be conducted in Spanish with English interpretation.
• Tuesday, September 16th at 8:00 a.m. in the Highlander Café at Somerville High School. This session will be conducted in English with Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole interpretation.
• Tuesday, September 16th at 7:00 p.m. at the West Somerville Neighborhood School. This session will be conducted in English with Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole interpretation.
These meetings will provide opportunities for members of the public to speak directly with the consultants. If interpretation for a language other than our target languages is required, please contact the Somerville Public Schools Parent Information Center at (617) 629-5670.
Second, the School Committee asks EVERYONE to complete a brief online survey by clicking on this link. http://ecrasurvey.com/Somerville
Third, members of the School Committee will be hosting individual meetings in their respective wards to listen to informal comments or suggestions from community members. The times and locations of these meetings will be announced soon.
While the Superintendent search process will be very open, the names of those applying for the position will be held in confidence until the finalists are announced. This will help ensure Somerville attracts the highest quality candidates. As mentioned, the finalists will be interviewed in public.
The School Committee has engaged the services of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, a highly regarded search consultant, to assist in the search. This firm assisted the School District in the previous search for a Superintendent.