SHEFFIELD -- Four candidates with varying levels of leadership experience, including one in-house applicant, have been identified as finalists for the Southern Berkshire Regional School District's superintendent position.

The district's Superintendent Screening Committee interviewed 12 applicants and narrowed the choice down to a high school principal, an assistant superintendent, a director of curriculum and instruction and David Hastings, the district's coordinator of curriculum and professional development.

Hastings will compete for the position along with Dr. Linda Carrier, director of curriculum and instruction at Monson Public Schools; Patricia Gardner, principal of Turners Falls High School in the Gill-Montague Regional School District; and Dr. Patricia Lally, assistant superintendent of Tewksbury Public Schools.

The school committee is likely to vote on Feb. 14 on a new superintendent, according to School Committee Chairman Carl Stewart. The new superintendent will likely receive a three-year contract with pay of around $140,000, Stewart said.

A start date for the superintendent would be determined through negotiation.

Interim Superintendent Michael Singleton's contract expires this summer.

"We think [the school district] provides a good education and we want to continue that and make it better," said Stewart, who added the vocational and technical training could still be improved.

"Every school committee member recognizes that this is very important," Stewart added.


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This week, school committee members will be interviewing the candidates' peers at their worksites from Monday through Thursday.

Then the following week the candidates will come to Southern Berkshire Regional School District and tour the facilities and meet with school committee members and, possibly take part in a meet-and-greet with the community.

Newly elected school committees members who are unfamiliar with Hastings will be requested to interview his peers, School Committee Member Vito Valentini said.

Superintendent Screening Committee Chair George McGurn said that the 14-member committee -- one committee member stepped down because of personal commitments -- was composed of teachers, parents, union representatives and others who interviewed 12 candidates.

McGurn, of Egremont, said that the school received applications in the low 20s before cutting the field to a dozen.