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SHIRLEY — Members of the School Committee voted unanimously to hire the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) to help find an interim superintendent to fill the anticipated June vacancy.

The committee is looking towards hiring an interim superintendent for the season so it can take the time to do a search, said Chairman Robert Prescott.

Interviews were conducted for the second time with MASC and New England School Development Council (NESDEC) last week, to discuss finding a temporary replacement to fill the superintendent position when Dr. Thomas Scott’s contract ends in June.

The pool of applicants is very shallow at this time, MASC representative Pat Correira said. The number of school district searches will increase, but the pool of candidates will not.

“If the pool is going to stay the same, maybe we’re just buying time,” said committee member Gary Bourassa.

Conducting focus groups is a high priority in the search for the next superintendent, Prescott said.

Shirley Middle School Principal Daniel Schauben-Fuerst asked the committee if they are planning to hire a full-time special education (SPED) director.

“All that’s been on our agenda is to hire a SPED Director,” Vice Chairman Paul Wilson said.

“I would certainly hope that the interim Superintendent would be able to work with the (School Committee) in reference to hiring a full-time SPED director,” said Parker.

Correira provided a list of applicants for the interim position. She said she could recommend several people from the list whom she felt the committee should interview.

From a pool of interim superintendents it maintains, NESDEC would choose the superintendent it thinks would most fit the needs of the district, said NESDEC representative Arthur Bettencourt.

The committee would not realize any savings by hiring an interim superintendent through NESDEC at a cost of $10,000 to $11,000 per month, said Bettencourt.

Ultimately, the flexibility offered by MASC was the deciding factor although committee member Robert Schuler expressed concern about narrowing down the list that was provided.

In addition, the committee voted to hire NESDEC to assist in the search to fill the full-time superintendent position based on the interviews held last month.

In early December, Bettencourt presented the School Committee with a proposal for search services that totaled roughly $17,000.

Last week, the cost could be reduced to approximately $2,000 by eliminating a governance workshop, a service offered by NESDEC that helps get the School Committee and the superintendent on the right track, said Bettencourt.

Bettencourt suggested the committee begin their search in September or early October at the latest.