PITTSFIELD -- William Hart wants his first -- and only -- job as a school superintendent to be with Pittsfield Public Schools.

Hart, the assistant school superintendent in the Pentucket Regional School District, views the city's school system as the final stop of what's been a 28-year career in education.

"I'm looking for my last job," the 51-year-old told the School Committee Monday night. "I hope we'll be working together for 10 to 12 years."

Hart's comments came in response to the final question the committee posed during a one-hour interview of one of the three finalists seeking to become Pittsfield's next top educator.

Tonight, the school board will interview Lee Public Schools Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless, followed on Feb.

William Hart
William Hart (Eagle photo)
4 by Mashpee schools Superintendent Ann Bradshaw.

Both one-hour question-and-answer sessions are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Pittsfield High School.

The school board expects to vote on making a job offer to one of the finalists at a Feb. 27 meeting. The committee is seeking a successor to Howard "Jake" Eberwein III, who announced left the district last June to take a job at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams.

Gordon Noseworthy was hired in June as interim superintendent for a year in order to give the School Committee ample time to find a permanent school boss.

If selected, Hart will inherit some unfinished business from his predecessor, most notably plans to create a new or renovated Taconic High School with a revamped vocation-technical education program.

Hart said academics must be a strong component of any career path students choose through vocational training.

"You can have a wonderful program, but if it doesn't help students post-graduation, it doesn't make sense," he noted.

As for his administrative style, Hart vows to engage the community in shaping how children are taught in the classroom. He cited how parents, teachers, students and local leaders came together in the Pentucket school district to help shape its curriculum.

"The community has defined what good education should be," Hart said.

The former high school principal and teacher also plans to stay connected to the general public and school community through constant communication, especially during a crisis.

"I like to make sure the rumor mill doesn't get started," he said.

The husband and father of three children, the youngest a high school junior, added he would move to Pittsfield if hired as the city's new school superintendent.

While residency isn't a job requirement, it has been an issue for previous city school boards who've hired superintendents hired from outside Berkshire County.

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