By Mina Corpuz
PEPPERELL -- Brad Morgan plans to listen, meet with stakeholders, and be self-reflective as he steps into his role as superintendent of the North Middlesex Regional School District in July.
He has began to spend time in the district to get a sense of its strengths, needs, and areas for improvement.
"I think it's very important for any administrator to come in asking a lot of questions," Morgan said in an interview at the district office.
Last month the School Committee voted 5-4 to appoint him as the next superintendent. Morgan was one of four finalists and about 20 people who applied for the position.
He signed a three-year contract with a starting salary of $172,500.
Morgan, principal at Essex Technical High School in Danvers, has written an entry plan to step into the superintendent role and lead the district. He plans to have it approved by the School Committee in the summer and complete it by January.
There are differences coming from a technical high school and working as a principal. Morgan hopes to translate how he made decisions and worked with a team at the school level to the district level.
Strong relationships are key to being a good superintendent, he said.
Morgan has met with members of the central office team, including current Superintendent Joan Landers.
He credits Landers for her work for North Middlesex and her help during the transition.
Leading up to his start date, Morgan plans to meet with town administrators, Board of Selectmen, police and fire chiefs, hear from faculty and staff at the schools, and talk to parents.
"You have to be an efficient communicator and be visible to all your stakeholders," Morgan said.
Beyond North Middlesex, Morgan wants to reach out to elected state officials about how their work can help North Middlesex.
Legislation proposing changes to the state funding formula for public schools and reimbursement for regional transportation areas he wants to follow.
Morgan wants to learn about multiple perspectives that stakeholders have about the district. He said North Middlesex is moving in the right direction, but he doesn't want to propose any changes until he gets a sense of the whole picture.
When it comes to the school district's budget, he wants to have a transparent process that begins with talking with school faculty, staff, and building administration to determine what is essential for learning, important, and what would be nice to have if there is money available.
As principal, Morgan has had experience working on the school budget, he told the School Committee during his April interview.
Morgan was given five transition days from his current superintendent to come to North Middlesex and he will give five days to work with his successor as principal.
He lives in Chelmsford and won't be far from the district. His parents previously owned a restaurant in Pepperell, so he is familiar with the area.
Follow Mina on Twitter @mlcorpuz.