2006-07-13 / Front Page

School chief candidate interviews are next week

By Donna K. Drago

At its July 6 meeting, outgoing School Superintendent Kathy Sipala told the School Committee that there have been three applicants for the position of part-time superintendent, posted in recent weeks since she announced her resignation from the Jamestown School to take over the Narragansett School District.

Sipala said that she would recommend that two of the three be interviewed, and that the interviews take place next week.

Both candidates were described by Sipala as recently retired Rhode Island superintendents, who, according to state laws involving municipal pensions, are eligible to work 90 days per year. That would work out to be two days per week during the school year and one day per week during the summer, Sipala said.

Since both candidates are retirees, they would require no benefits, she noted.

If neither candidate is acceptable to the search committee - which consists of school Business Manager Maria Alfred, Director of Pupil Services Beth Pinto, Kathy Almanzor, the Melrose school principal, Sipala, and the entire school board - Sipala suggested that the committee then broaden its search to find a better candidate.

For the position of assistant principal, Sipala told the School Committee, some 16 applicants have sent in resumes. That pile would be reviewed and winnowed down on Monday of this week, with interviews scheduled for next week, she said.

The School Committee scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, Aug. 3, to hopefully announce the names of the new superintendent and assistant principal.

In other business, the School Committee:

+ Approved a new three-year contract with the Jamestown Educational Support Personnel Association, the union that includes teacher assistants and custodians.

+ Learned that some $55,000 that was expected in state aid was not funded in the final state budget. "Now we are short $55,000 in the current budget," Sipala said.

Maria Alfred, the school's business manager, advised the committee to "wait and see how the year rolls out" before asking the town for the extra funds.

Sipala noted that because of low kindergarten enrollment, she has closed one of the three kindergarten classrooms and moved that teacher to a grade 2 vacancy.

"That's a savings," Sipala noted.

+ Approved the appointment of three teachers to extracurricular positions: Maureen McGuirl as yearbook co-ordinator and liaison to North Kingstown High School, Nicholas Alfred as technology coach and track coach, and Tom Carney as soccer coach.

+ Agreed to contribute $2,000 to the $3,975 cost to the town of replacing the chainlink backstop on the Babe Ruth field.

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