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District chief hopefuls interviewed

Some claim process 'tainted'

June 13, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — The School Committee spent six hours publicly interviewing the finalists for the superintendent's job Saturday, and nothing has changed.

All four candidates — Mark Wood, principal of Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin, Schenectady, N.Y., Superintendent Eric Ely, Milford Assistant Superintendent Barbara Cataldo and Southbridge High Principal William Bishop — are still in the running. All of them received at least four votes when members were polled regarding whether to conduct site visits. Those are being scheduled, and the committee is planning to make a final decision June 30.

Several observers, including some members of the original search committee, were greatly distressed at that result, however.

"There are clearly two top candidates and the process isn't working," said Andrea St. Germaine. "Some who didn't rank from the get-go are still in the running. … When went put forward three candidates, I left thinking integrity was there, honesty was there and the best choices were put forward. Then it got tainted."

Kara Donovan agreed, noting she was "disappointed" that certain candidates were "still in the running" when only one of them was an original finalist. To her, some of the interviewees didn't answer some questions well or with "a vision and experience."

"The rest of the candidates did not make the cut then, and they don't now," she added.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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