2018-01-25 / Front Page

Duva surgery leads to hiring of temporary superintendent

CONVERY CONVERY When the school department unveils its proposed fiscal 2019 budget tonight at Lawn School, a substitute superintendent will be at the helm.

Superintendent Ken Duva underwent back surgery Jan. 10 and is expected to recover at home until March. Because he will be sidelined, the school committee temporarily hired Mike Convery during a unanimous emergency vote.

B.J. Whitehouse, chairman of the board, suggested the measure.

“I would recommend, very highly, that we need a superintendent in here to facilitate the legalities,” he said at the Jan. 11 meeting. “I’d choose not to rely on Dr. Duva because of his condition.”

The board picked Convery because he is familiar with the district’s budget process. Following Carol Blanchette’s sudden departure from the superintendent’s post in September 2016, the committee tapped Convery to lead the district throughout winter 2016-17. He mentored Duva during this time while preparing the 2017-18 budget.

“He did a very good job during that time,” Whitehouse said. “He knows the system. He knows the folks.”

Convery, who is expected to work between four and eight weeks starting tonight, will be paid a per diem of $550. Jane Littlefield, the district’s business manager, said he is scheduled to be in the office twice per week, which means $1,100 will be allocated weekly from the substitute fund during his tenure.

Before Jamestown, Convery worked in the Cranston school system for 25 years, including two stints as superintendent.

“The man knows his stuff,” Whitehouse said.

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