North Adams superintendent search committee drafts candidate questions

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NORTH ADAMS >> In its mission to find the next superintendent of the city's school system, a search committee this week began fine tuning the questions it wants to put to candidates.

During its meeting on Thursday, the committee discussed questions on topics ranging from school security to working with the community.

The 11-member search committee, formed under the auspices of the full School Committee, is working to find a replacement for outgoing Superintendent James Montepare, who announced his intentions to retire earlier this year after a career of more than four decades in the city's public schools. He began his career in special education and was appointed to the superintendent position in 2003.

The committee is tasked with narrowing the initial pool of applicants brought forward by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, which is overseeing the search process. Its goal is to have a new superintendent in place to start by June 30.

"Our job basically is to do this preliminary screening," said committee Chairman Howard "Jake" Eberwein, dean of graduate and continuing education Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and former superintendent of the Pittsfield Public Schools.

Eberwein also said he hoped the search committee, which consists of members from varying backgrounds throughout the community, will to "bring different perspectives to the table."

The search committee will begin its candidate interviews with five interviews over the course of three days next week.

After interviews with the candidates, the search committee will send three to five candidates of the 10 brought forward by the MASC to the School Committee for final, in-depth interviews. The School Committee is expected to choose a new superintendent in the spring.

The initial interview process conducted by the search committee will be done behind closed doors. The names of the applicants have not yet been released, though one member indicated that four of the five candidates are from out of the area. Once the search committee finalizes a set of candidates to send to the full School Committee, their names will become public. The School Committee's interviews will be held in open session.

The questions decided by the committee this week will mostly remain consistent across candidates and are intended to be less candidate-specific than those that will come from the full School Committee during the lengthier, public interviews.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376


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