By Alex Malm
The Londonderry School Board got an update regarding the search for the next superintendent during the March 22 Board meeting.
It was explained by School Board Chair Amy Finamore who also serves on the Search Committee that they were expecting to receive 15 to 20 applicants for the position. From there they were expecting to send two or three to the full School Board for their decision.
“The reason why we are here tonight is because we’ve received nine applications total out of which three of the individuals were selected for short interviews,” said Finamore.
From that group Finamore said that they narrowed it down to one candidate who the Committee thinks is viable.
Finamore said that the Committee wanted the School Board to decide if they wanted to have a long interview with the one candidate or if they wanted to see if they can get more applications.
During public comment Racheal Killian said that she is concerned that if they move forward with one candidate so quickly they may be missing out on other candidates.
She also noted that she found the job posting to be different from other ones she has seen for superintendent positions specifically that there wasn’t a salary listed.
Killian said that it may be one of the reasons why some people didn’t apply and said they should reconsider looking at the job posting again.
It was pointed out by Finamore that in New Hampshire you need to have a superintendent license in order to serve in that role which may be one of the reasons for the low number of applicants. She also noted that right now there are 13 openings for superintendent in the state.
“It’s just what the market is right now. It’s a hard market,” said Finamore.
As for salary, Finamore said that they didn’t want to narrow the salary range which is why they didn’t post it on the job posting.
“We really wanted to give ourselves some flexibility,” said Finamore.
School Board member Bob Slater said that the School Board hired the New Hampshire School Board Association to help them with the search no matter how long it takes.
“They are hired to get us or work with us to hire a superintendent. If it takes a year, if it takes two years, until we have a qualified candidate selected by the Board,” said Slater.
He said that the Committee originally had selected three applicants to do short interviews with, but they determined that the Committee didn’t see them as viable candidates.
Slater said he wasn’t comfortable with just having one candidate for the Board to choose from and suggested they open the application process again for three weeks.
“Let’s see what comes in,” said Slater.
School Board Vice Chair Sara Loughlin said she agreed with not wanting only one candidate.
“I would not feel comfortable bringing only one candidate to the School Board,” said Loughlin.
The School Board ultimately decided that they would repost the job posting for three weeks meaning that the application period will close on April 12. They also agreed that they don’t want fewer than two candidates sent to the School Board from the Search Committee.