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Wednesday’s School Committee meeting featured the first public announcement of the finalists for the vacant superintendent of schools position in the city of New Bedford.
Chairman of the search committee and president of Bridgewater State University Dana Mohler-Faria and Future Management Systems executive VP Bill Garr were on hand to go over the process and answer questions about the search.
Some quick facts about the search:
- There were 36 applicants
- No New Bedford residents applied
- One applicant is from the district (I wonder who)
- Six applicants were interviewed, resulting in three finalists
- Three finalists were selected nearly unanimously (rare in these searches)
So without further ado, here are the candidates. I did some digging online to find information on them. There seems to be a mix of good and bad for all of the candidates, as is often the case with superintendents in general. While the information I post is reliable, it in no way paints a complete picture of the candidate. Keep that in mind.
- Dr. Kriner Cash
- Former superintendent of Memphis, TN district
- Former superintendent in Martha’s Vineyard
- Additional bio information
- Some controversy: Cash made a bit of an odd exit from the Memphis district as two counties merged. He was awarded a fairly handsome severance deal in the process. Read more here.
- Worth noting: He was praised by many, even as he exited Memphis district on those odd terms.
- Some random praise
- Not the best sign..
- Video: an interview
- Dr. Pia Durkin
- Currently lame-duck superintendent of Attleboro Public Schools
- formerly from Boston district
- A noted “early-adopter” of President Obama’s “Race to the Top” initiative (for better or for worse) See page 11 here.
- No stranger to school department politics.
- After lots of tension and sniping between her and the school committee, the two sides are parting ways. The district began seeking a replacement before she even left. Read here.
- Dr. Steven Zrike
- Currently one of the higher-ups of the elementary portion of Chicago Public Schools
- Former principal in Boston
- Some bio info
- Some old news from his days in Boston
- Some really bad news if you support the teachers union
- Video: a presentation
Check out the links. That’s just the product of some quick Googling (one of the selling points of the Future Management Systems product, by the way). Again, I caution everyone to avoid rushing to judgement based on potentially biased sources. You’ll have a chance to judge them for yourselves.
Dr. Steven Zrike will be in the district on Monday February 25th. He’ll be interviewed by the school committee publicly at New Bedford High School at 6pm that day.
The same goes for Dr. Pia Durkin, but on Tuesday February 26th.
Dr. Kriner Cash will be doing the same on Wednesday February 27th.
The superintendent will be voted on by the school committee on March 11th.