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Tewksbury School Committee Hopes To Have Next Superintendent Named By New Year's

Jul 21, 2015 11:02AM ● By Bill Gilman

Tewksbury Superintendent of Schools Dr. John O'Connor.

By the time Tewksbury public school students return from Christmas break, the School Committee is hoping to know the name of the district's next superintendent of schools.
Last month, Superintendent Dr. John O'Connor publicly announced he planned to retire at the end of the end of the 2015-16 school year, his fifth in the district. According to O'Connor, the announcement just made official what he had told the committee from the time he was interviewed for the job back in 2010.
The search for O'Connor's successor will begin next month, when the School Committee will hear presentations from prospective search consultants, including the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.
"We've put the invitation out there and we are hoping to have at least a few different organizations come in and give their presentation," said School Committee Chairperson Krissy Polimeno. "(A consultant) isn't something we are looking to spend a lot of money on. They would just be helping us with the process and publicizing the job opening."
According to Polimeno, the search process will follow a very similar track as the one that resulted in the hiring of O'Connor. A screening committee will be formed, with stakeholders from throughout the community represented. This would include parents, teachers, two members of the school committee and at least one member of the board of selectmen, among others.
Once the resumes start arriving, Polimeno anticipates the process of choosing a candidate will move along rapidly but in clear view of the public.
"We want this process to be as transparent as possible," she said.
To that end, Polimeno said the process calls for interviews with finalists to be broadcast live on Public Access Television.
If all goes according to plan, Polimeno said the committee should be able to vote on a candidate by Jan. 1.
"This is the time of year when the best candidates are available," she said. "We'd like to get someone hired and in place, maybe even a month before (O'Connor retires) to help with the transition."

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