School Committee appoints board to evaluate superintendent candidates

Jan 24, 2023

As the departure of Superintendent Dr. Bonny Gifford approaches, the Dartmouth School Committee appointed a subcommittee at its Jan. 23 meeting to review applicants to the important position.

The 13-member committee will narrow the pool of candidates to a select group of finalists who will be presented to the School Committee for final consideration.

Applications are due in early February and the field is expected to be narrowed by Feb. 13 to allow for interviews before Gifford is set to retire in early March. Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations James Kiely will take over for Gifford on an interim basis starting on March 1 and continue in the role until June 30.

The evaluation committee will be made up of a variety of different school officials and employees and was modeled on the equivalent committee set up eight years ago, before Gifford was hired. 

It will include stakeholders from eight categories: 

  • Central office administrators (2): Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent Kathleen Genthner and Director of Teaching and Learning Elementary Catherine Pavao
  • School Committee members (2): Chris Oliver and Dr. Shannon Jenkins
  • Related service provider (1): Middle School Reading Specialist Mary Lynch
  • Principals (3): High School Principal Ryan Shea, Middle School Assistant Principal Peter Rossi, and Quinn Principal Kyle Grandfield
  • Teachers (3): High school computer science teacher Eric Bosworth, high school English teacher Wilbur Higgins, and Potter School technology specialist Sandra Chicca
  • Union designee/ teacher (1): High school science teacher Renee Vieira 
  • Teaching assistant, Custodial/maintenance, or food service staff (1): Quinn School teaching assistant Trudy Santos

The evaluation committee is also intended to include two parents of current Dartmouth students, however, no letters of interest were received from parents at the time of the meeting.

The School Committee said that members would reach out to the PTA and other parents who might be interested in joining the committee, setting a deadline of Jan. 31 for letters of interest to arrive. 

The committee will then meet briefly via Zoom on Thursday, Feb. 2 to approve candidates, if applications are received.

School Committee Chair John Nunes thanked all those who submitted letters of interest to sit on the committee.

“Thank you to everyone who applied,” he said. “It is appreciated more than you will know.”