School Committee appoints Kiely as interim superintendent

Dec 12, 2022

With the departure of Dartmouth Superintendent Dr. Bonny Gifford just a few months away, the School Committee voted unanimously to appoint Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations James Kiely as the interim superintendent at its meeting on Dec. 12. 

Kiely will take over for Gifford starting on March 1, 2023 and continue in the role until June 30. At that point, a permanent superintendent will be appointed.

Though Kiely said he was proud to be entrusted with the role, he admitted that it would be a difficult proposition in addition to his normal duties.

“It’s an honor to be considered,” he said. “I will say it’s not going to be an easy task for four months to do two full-time jobs.”

He added, however, that he believed he could manage it with the help of his coworkers, who agreed to assist him.

The motion to appoint Kiely was made by committee member Chris Oliver, who emphasized the need for someone familiar with the district in the position.

“He’s someone who’s clearly invested in this district, someone who knows our staff and knows how we operate,” Oliver said. “He’s just respected.”

He added that the possibility of collective bargaining negotiations extending past Gifford’s departure made the choice even more clear.

The committee briefly considered postponing the appointment, as the agenda had not made clear that they would be discussing an interim superintendent, but eventually decided to proceed anyway.