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Supt. interviews set; bomb scares may make parents liable

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SHIRLEY — Interviews for the interim Superintendent position will be held by the School Committee next Wednesday, at 6 p.m., at the Shirley Middle School library.

The subcommittee has held interviews with four candidates, member Robert Schuler said. It recommended the School Committee bring in three out of the four applicants for second round.

The subcommittee that was formed to interview potential candidates for the position is comprised of School Committee members Donald Parker, Robert Schuler, and elected members Christine House and Jane Cook.

The candidates recommended by the subcommittee are:

Boxboro resident Malcolm Reed. He is currently the interim superintendent and principal for the Boxboro school district, and he worked in the Acton and Boxboro schools from 1994 to 2003.

Franklin resident Dr. Kevin O’Malley. He retired as superintendent of the Ayer school district in 1995. He recently provided a peer review of the Shirley School District.

Grafton resident Dr. Kenneth Grew. He is currently working as an arbitrator and mediator. He is also an educational consultant.

During public participation, Finance Committee Chairwoman Cheryl Hayden asked if the committee intended to consider combining the positions of superintendent and middle school principal.

”The merger of a middle school principal and superintendent would be difficult,” Parker said.

There is a feeling among community members that the school district is administratively top heavy, said Hayden.

Although there are other districts that perform under this type of leadership, Schuler said, the combination of the two positions is not the ideal model.

”If we’re forced into it for economic reasons, then we’ll have to look at it,” he said.

Following the interviews, the committee will hold its regular meeting at 7:30 that evening.

In other business, and in light of recent bomb scares at the middle school, committee Chairman Robert Prescott said the town is incurring costs associated with false alarms, and the schools experience disruptions because of them. He asked if a policy could be formed to recuperate some of these costs by holding the parents or guardians of students found responsible for such an act financially liable.

Also, a new allergy policy, written by the district’s nurse leader, nurses and a parent volunteer was submitted by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thomas Scott and approved by the committee.

When the draft was written, Scott said it was submitted to attorneys for review. The firm reviewed the policy and, in a letter, said, “The policy is basically an excellent one.”

Finally, Scott said he wished to acknowledge the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) for the “outstanding things (it) has done.”

This year, the PTA has sponsored several programs for the Shirley School District, and it has raised thousands of dollars.

”(We) should thank them,” Scott said, “because they do fill a lot of gaps.”

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