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Thursday May 10, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The School Committee has rejected the candidacy of a Worcester area school superintendent to become the city's new school chief.

The committee late Wednesday night voted 5-2 against offering the Pittsfield superintendent's position to Reza Namin of the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District. Terry Kinnas and Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi were in favor of hiring Namin. Bianchi is a board member by virtue of his office.

However, the seven member panel was unanimous in seeking out an interim superintendent until another search can be conducted to find a successor for Howard "Jake" Eberwein III. Eberwein announced in early January his resignation effective June 30.

The committee will asked the Massachusetts Association of School Committees to come up with up to three candidates to be considered as the temporary superintendent. The board expects to question the interim hopefuls at its June 13 meeting, according to School Committee Chairman Alfred E. "Alf" Barbalunga.

While the committee felt Namin was a worthy replacement for Eberwein, the majority questioned his commitment to the Pittsfield Public Schools.

"He's very intelligent and passionate about education," Barbalunga said on Thursday. "But there were concerns about him relocating to Pittsfield and his level of commitment to the city based on his employment history."

Namin is in the first year of a three-year contract at Spencer-East Brookfield - his third superintendency in seven years.

He also lists Old Orchard Beach, Maine - 130 miles northeast of Spencer -- as his permanent address. Namin currently lives in a hotel near Spencer-East Brookfield, while working for his present employer.