CHICOPEE – The school board has formed a 14-member search committee to seek out and select finalists for the position of superintendent.
“The intention is to create a committee where everyone has a voice,” said Mayor John L. Vieau, who is also chair of the school board.
The school department has been without a permanent superintendent since April, when Lynn A. Clark was placed on administrative leave about 12 hours after she was arrested on federal charges of lying to the FBI in a bizarre case where she is accused of sending him 99 text messages. anonymous. former lover, police captain, to force him to withdraw his candidacy for the position of chief of police.
School committee members have never said publicly whether they voted to enforce a clause in Clark’s contract that allows either party to part ways without cause on 90 days’ notice. The committee met behind closed doors on the matter, and Clark’s attorney confirmed in a previous interview that she was fired.
Deputy Superintendent Alvin Morton has led the school department since April, and the school board has officially voted for him to serve as acting superintendent until the end of June, knowing the search will likely take a year.
“We are making progress in our search for a superintendent. At the moment, we are setting up the committee,” announced Vieau.
The committee will include Vieau, school vice-president Susan Szetela Lopes and three other school committee members. The president of the Chicopee Education Association or another officer, two school administrators and two other school employees will also be members, Vieau said.
In addition, there will be two parents and two community representatives, he said.
The composition of the group is similar to what the school committee used the last time it went looking for a superintendent, at least 14 years ago, said member Donald Lamothe.
The school committee asks anyone interested in serving on the search committee to send a letter of interest by email to [email protected] All letters must be received by 4 p.m. Aug. 10, and a lottery will be held Aug. 18 to select members if there are more applicants than positions in a specific category, Vieau said.
“We’re hoping to get a great level of enthusiasm for the superintendent’s search committee,” Lopes said. “I hope many people from the public will submit a letter of interest.”
The school committee previously hired the Massachusetts Association of School Committees to provide technical assistance to help with the research.
School committee member Timothy Wagner raised concerns that the school committee had not had a chance to discuss the search committee before Vieau made his announcement.
Member Ronald Bernard questioned the wisdom of selecting the remaining three school committee members through a lottery. He said he thought it would make more sense to select people based on their experience and other qualifications to ensure there was a balance among the members.
But Vieau said he didn’t want to pit one school committee member against another and said he felt a lottery would be fair.