LEE -- The search is under way to find a temporary replacement for outgoing school Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless before he vacates the position at the end of the school year.
The Lee and Tyringham school committees this week will begin advertising in local and regional publications for an interim superintendent, with applications due April 1. Lee and Tyringham are part of Union 29, the school district that oversees the Lee Public Schools.
The school boards will jointly interview finalists with the hope of choosing a short-term school boss prior to McCandless' resignation, which takes effect on June 30. He is leaving the Lee school system to become the superintendent of the Pittsfield Public Schools.
Lee and Tyringham's hiring of a temporary superintendent allows the two towns' school boards at least one year to find a permanent successor, according to Lee School Committee Chairwoman Susan Harding.
"An interim gives us time to make sure the next superintendent is the right person we're looking for," she said.
Harding said interest is already high for the interim position because the Lee schools have a "nice reputation."
"I had five calls the day after Jake was offered the Pittsfield job," she said.
Following a yearlong search, the Pittsfield School Committee on Feb. 27 choose McCandless from among three finalists to succeed Howard "Jake" Eberwein III. Eberwein resigned as Pittsfield's school boss last June. He was later
Pending a contract agreement with the city school board, McCandless, a Pittsfield resident, is expected to start his new job July 1.
McCandless, 42, has spent 11 years in the Lee school system, three of those years as principal of Lee Middle and High School prior to becoming superintendent in July 2005. He currently oversees a school system with an enrollment of 358 students at Lee Elementary School and 393 students at Lee Middle and High School. The Lee district has 140 teachers, administrators and support staff with an operating budget of $7.88 million.
While McCandless annually earns $106,000, the salary for the temporary superintendent is negotiable, according to Harding.
"The contract will be for one year with the option for a second year," she said, "and it's important [the interim] be a full-time position."
To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233.