41 Seek Boston Schools Superintendent Job

The search committee charged with finding a new Boston school superintendent says 41 individuals have either completed or initiated an application for the job.

William Attea, of the executive search firm Hazzard, Young, Attea and Associates, says 23 of the applicants are currently serving as superintendents in school districts across the country.

He says other applicants include a Massachusetts Department of Education official, which could be a reference to Secretary Matt Malone, who is said to be interested in the job.

Another applicant is a colonel in the U.S. Army.

There is some concern about the diversity of the applicants. Of the 25 who have completed the application process, 13 are Caucasian, nine are African-American, and three are Latino. Men outnumber women almost 3 to 1.

The search firm will be taking applications until the end of the year. In early January, the firm will recommend as many as 10 to 12 candidates to be interviewed by the search committee.

Boston School Committee Chairman Michael O’Neill says that group will be narrowed down to three applicants by the end of January.

“The mayor will interview them, the School Committee will interview them publicly," O'Neill said. "We’ve also committed to a public process to make sure that community members, students and others will have a chance to also interview the three candidates.”

An offer could be made to a finalist in early to mid-February, and Boston could hire a new superintendent no later than June — almost a full two years after Superintendent Carol Johnson stepped down after six years on the job.

The search committee met at BPS headquarters Thursday night in its first meeting since May. Among those attending were education and community activists who expressed concern about the selection process.

Ayele Shakur, chairwoman of the education committee of the Boston branch of the NAACP, discussed the reopening and setting of new dates in the process.

Shakur said that “much of the concern is coming from a lack of real trust of a lot of things that have taken place in the district recently where parents and community residents were not included as part of the process.”

O’Neill said the delay in the process was strategically designed to increase the candidate pool.

“We knew that in May we had 14 sitting superintendents who had submitted applications," he said. "The update we received tonight is 23 sitting superintendents have applied. If our goal is to have a deeper and more diverse pool, the delay clearly has been to the benefit of Boston."

The next meeting of the search committee will take place Nov. 17.

Delores Handy Reporter
Delores Handy was formerly a host and reporter at WBUR.



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