Old Rochester Superintendant announces June retirement

Aug 28, 2019

The Old Rochester Regional District School Committee and the Massachusetts School Superintendency Union #55 (which is made from the school committees in all three tri-town towns) met Aug. 28 for a rare meeting with a single purpose: to start the process of picking a replacement for Superintendent Doug White, who will retire June 30 of next year. 

White has served the Old Rochester Regional School District since 2010, when he accepted the position to be closer to his family in Plymouth. He previously served as Superintendent in Henniker, New Hampshire.

White said he would like to have a replacement by late January or early February. That replacement would start July 1, when the new school year starts. 

“If you have any glitches you will get closer and closer to the start of a new school year,” White said. 

A search committee, composed of the four school committee heads from each town and the District School Committee head, will start the process of looking for a superintendent, ultimately selecting several candidates while also taking into account feedback from whichever other members would like to attend meetings.

However the joint District School Committee and Superintendency Union will conduct interviews and make the final decision on the candidate, with input from teachers, administrators, parents and town officials. 

“Even though we are the body that decides, we do need to solicit feedback from teachers, administrators, and parents,” said Jim Muse, School Committee member. 

The school committee faces a number of choices in the process, including whether they would like to use a consultant for the process, and whether they would like to look internally or open the search up nationally. 

They decided to focus initially on the criteria that they are looking for in a candidate, and to use a consultant to help with the search. 

“We should invite [finance committees] and Select Boards so they have a chance to express their voice” and contribute to the criteria, said Tina Rood, another School Committee member. 

The group will put out requests for quotes from consultants right away, and choose a consultant at its Oct. 9 meeting. The professionals will help them to determine if the district has enough local or internal candidates to consider or whether it would be worth the effort to consider a broader pool. 

In other staffing news, White requested that the District School Committee authorize him to bring in a part-time business administrator to temporarily replace Paul Kitchen, who announced over the summer that he would resign, while the district searches for additional candidates for the job. White said the position is too vital to leave unfilled. School Committee members agreed, and approved his request. 

Sippican School also hired Kyle C. Letendre, a sixth grade teacher at Old Hammondtown School, to serve as assistant principal at Sippican School, alongside its new Principal Marla Sirois. Sippican’s former assistant principal, Sarah Goerges, is now running the District’s Project Grow.