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Search panel is disbanded


School Committee takes over process


June 08, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — After disbanding the search committee, the School Committee took over the superintendent search process entirely Tuesday, going into executive session after its regular meeting as a newly-created "committee of the whole" to discuss the issue.

The board is holding a special meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to announce the finalists.

To former search committee member Pat LoConto, that approach was not a surprise.

"It's what I expected," he admitted while leaving. " I'm OK with what transpired; it was an inevitable process. We just have to wait and see what happens."

After the session, School Chair John Jovan Jr., said he was advised to handle the transition that way by the district's attorney, Dean Moschos, after talking to him at length earlier in the day. In front of the cameras, he outlined at length the various options his board faced, based on a series of calls between him, Moschos, Mass. Association of School Committees Director Glenn Koocher and state Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. They were to abandon the process and start over from scratch, suspend the process and hire an interim superintendent, and do what the committee did.

Ultimately, Jovan observed, the decision and responsibility for whether it's a good one lies solely in the School Committee's hands.

Specifically, he said Chester suggested looking at the whole pool of applicants and "moving one, two or three forward" so the panel would have a few people to compare. At present, only one candidate remains in the running from the search panel's top three, and Jovan said the searchers voted to re-submit only that one name instead of five after being charged to find five last week.

Careful to avoid saying too much that might violate executive sessions, LoConto said he believes that one is still the best choice available.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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