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GROTON — In a series of decisions made last week, the Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee voted to finalize the membership of a screening committee to weigh candidates to replace the departing Superintendent Alan Genovese.

Also included in the action was a separate unanimous vote appointing School Committee member Peter Carson chairman of the screening committee.

The primary role of the chairman will be to remain impartial while facilitating meetings of the committee. He also won’t vote on any of the issues arising from the panel’s affairs.

As chairman, it will be Carson’s responsibility to report back to the School Committee on the group’s activities, as well as greeting candidates when they arrive in the district for interviews.

The chairman will also abide by strict rules prohibiting him from discussing any of the panel’s business outside of regular meetings.

In a related matter, the School Committee defeated a motion that if passed, would have submitted candidate applications to the screening committee without names attached. The theory being that by leaving the names off, committee members would be less likely to bring personal prejudices to the selection process.

However, a majority of committee disagreed with the premise, with Erik Dichter suggesting that if passed, the measure would send a message that screening committee members are not to be trusted.

“The objective approach is laudable,” admitted committee Chairman James Frey, who nevertheless did not support the motion. The diversity of members on the screening committee, he argued, would work to keep any prejudices from making a difference.

Agreeing with Frey, committee members voted to allow the screening committee to know the names attached to each application.

In addition to the election of Carson, the School Committee last week also chose the members of the screening committee by pulling candidates’ names out of a hat.

Among the members chosen for the committee were Board of Selectmen member Joshua Degen and Nancy Bugbee of SpedPAC.

Other members of the committee included two teachers and two members of the superintendent’s administrative council, a member of the student council, a member of Dunstable’s Board of Selectmen, a senior citizen, two parents, a member of the schools’ support staff, a citizen at large, and representatives of two local special-interest groups.

Faced with an ambitious schedule, the screening committee is expected to submit a half dozen finalists to the School Committee for interviews by the end January, with a final vote to be made by March.

School Committee members embarked on their search process after Genovese informed them earlier in the year that he intended to retire when his current contract expired at the end of June.

Genovese, who was hired by the district in 2005 to replace Mary Jenning, is expected to remain on the job to aid in the transition.