PITTSFIELD -- For the second time this year, the School Committee is having difficulty attracting candidates for a new school superintendent, a position it hopes to fill in three months.

The committee on Wednes day night announced the deadline for applicants to submit resumes has been extended to Dec. 21 due to a dearth of resumes. The seven-member board, through a Boston-based consulting firm, formally advertised the job Oct. 31 with an applications originally due Nov. 16.

"We were striving for 40 applicants and, to date, we only have 12," said committee Chairman Alfred E. "Alf" Barbalunga.

Despite the extra month to solicit candidates, Barbalunga noted the school board still expects to vote on Feb. 27 to choose a successor for Howard "Jake" Eberwein III. Eberwein left the district June 30 and has since taken a job at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams.

The committee's initial search in the spring resulted in nine applicants, with a search committee recommending one finalist for the position.

However, the committee voted May 9 against offering the position to Reza Namin, superintendent of the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District.

In late June, the board hired Gordon Noseworthy as interim superintendent for one year, providing more time to hire a permanent replacement for Eberwein.

City school officials cited more than 40 Massachusetts school districts with superintendent searches well under way for limiting the pool of qualified candidates during the first search.


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Board members hope their search consultant, William Garr, executive vice president of Future Management Sys tems of Beverly, can explain the continued lack of candidates at their Dec. 12 meeting.

"I want him to answer why only 12," said committee member Daniel C. Elias. ‘We're just not attracting the numbers."

Garr wasn't able to attend Wednesday's school board gathering, according to Barbalunga, an absence that didn't sit well with committeeman Terry Kinnas.

"I expected him to be here as we paid a ton of money for his services," Kinnas said. The school board hired Future Man agement Systems for $22,000.

"I expected him to be here as we paid a ton of money for his services," Kinnas said. The school board hired Future Man agement Systems for $22,000.

As applications come in, the consultant will be seeking public input on what type of school superintendent city residents want through focus groups, individual interviews and an online survey.

Meanwhile, the School Committee will rely heavily on a superintendent search committee, assisted by the consultant, to review resumes and conduct semifinalist interviews before recommending three finalists for the job.

The committee also agreed to offer a salary range of $150,000 to $170,000 -- $25,000 to $45,000 more than what Eberwein was earning before he left the school district. However, Eberwein never accepted a pay raise above his annual $125,000 salary during his four years as superintendent.

The superintendent oversees Berkshire County's largest school district -- 6,161 students as of Oct. 1 -- and third-largest employer with nearly 1,200 teachers, administrators and support staff.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com, or (413) 496-6233.