WSSU to hire new leader
by Mike Eldred
Dec 20, 2012 | 1735 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WHITINGHAM- The Windham Southwest Supervisory Union will seek a new superintendent to replace Jack Rizzo, who resigned at the end of the last school year. The search for a new superintendent had been on hold while the board explored the possibility of a merger or collaboration with Windham Central Supervisory Union. After a joint meeting of the two supervisory union boards, a majority of board members voted to proceed with a formal study of consolidation options.

In October, the state board of education voted “to place Windham Southwest Supervisory Union under consideration for a supervisory union boundary change (the proposed consolidation) and permit the supervisory union board to hire a superintendent of schools for up to two years while the study is completed.”

Board members approved a proposal to contract with the Vermont School Boards Association to assist them in the search for the new superintendent. “The e-board has had a number of sessions on this, and this is our recommendation,” said chair Seth Boyd. “The SBA will do the search with us and take care of all the footwork for $7,500. We’ve met with the ‘guru’ and he’s good at what he does.”

“I was very impressed,” agreed board member Chum Sumner. “He’s as no-nonsense as Abraham Lincoln.”

Boyd said the process would move along fairly quickly once a search committee is appointed. The committee will include two board members, one WSSU office staff member, three building administrators, a teacher, and a community member. The committee will review candidates’ applications, interview candidates, and recommend as many as three to the board. “They may not get three,” noted Sumner. “Quite often, if you get one good candidate, you’d better run with it. He said he doesn’t believe in bringing in one great candidate and a couple of ringers.”

Board members discussed the makeup of the board, and interim superintendent Nancy Talbott suggested including two central office staff members. Boyd said it would mean adding another committee member, since an odd number of members was recommended by the VSBA to avoid a tie vote.

“If it comes down to a five/four vote, that person can’t walk on water,” said Sumner. “And in January, even I can do that.”

Board member Phil Taylor was concerned about the amount of time that would be required of committee members – up to 30 hours, according to the VSBA’s estimate. “Which of our principals has 30 hours to give?” he asked.

But the board approved the creation of the search committee.

In other matters, the board approved the supervisory union’s fiscal year 2013 budget of $1,300,832. The total budget is $53,369 less than last year’s budget. “Assessments to all districts are down considerably this year,” noted interim business manager Karen Atwood.

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