Saturday May 12, 2012

There is much to like about Reza Namin, the final candidate who emerged from the Pittsfield School Committee’s search for a new superintendent, but his résumé raised real concerns in a community burned not that long ago by the hiring of a superintendent who was never fully committed to the job. This choice must be the right one, and the committee acted wisely Wednesday in voting to reject his candidacy and seek an interim superintendent while it conducts the process anew.

Mr. Namin is only in the first year of a three-year contract with the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District and if he had been offered and had accepted the Pittsfield job it would have been his fourth superintendency in just seven years. He also lists Old Orchard Beach, Maine, which is 130 miles northeast of Spencer, as his permanent address and lives in a hotel near the towns of Spencer and East Brookfield. The predecessor to outgoing superintendent Howard "Jake" Eberwein III was a commuter who was never fully committed to the job or the city and the committee could not take a chance on sending the district back down that road again. On Thursday, Mr. Namin formally withdrew his candidacy for the position.

Obviously, it would be desirable to have a new superintendent in place by fall, especially considering there are complex issues on the table, foremost among them the determination about the future of Taconic High School and its role in both the city and county.


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Making the wrong choice, however, would be worse for the city than delaying the choice. The interim route is definitely the proper one to take.