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March 23, 2013

Finalists picked to lead tech school

DANVERS — The School Committee for the brand-new $133 million Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School is moving to hire the school’s first superintendent-director by July 1, if not sooner.

A personnel policy subcommittee this week named North Shore Technical High Superintendent-Director Daniel O’Connell and Minuteman Regional School Superintendent-Director Edward Bouquillon, Ph.D., as finalists. Both men are in the running to lead the merger of two regional vocational schools and Peabody’s high school vocational programs, according to two members of the Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School Committee.

Whoever is picked will have the herculean task of merging the 16-community North Shore Technical High in Middleton with the programs of the state-owned Essex Aggie in Danvers, which draws from more than 50 communities, with Peabody’s vocational high school programs.

The schools — and now the merged school — include students from Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester and Essex, all of whom tuition their students to the regional district. A sprawling 1,440-student school is presently under construction along Route 62 adjacent to the Essex Aggie campus.

Many on the North Shore know O’Connell for his work as principal of the 475-student North Shore Tech from 2007 to 2010, then superintendent-director since 2010. He has helped shepherd the merger with Essex Aggie Superintendent Roger Bourgeois, who is resigning April 1 to take a job with the Boston Public Schools.

Bouquillon’s name is not unknown on the North Shore. He was the director of the Windham Regional Career Center in Brattleboro, Vt., when he was the top pick of the Essex Aggie board in 2007. Bouquillon chose the Minuteman job instead.

Dean Porteous, who chairs the Personnel Policy Subcommittee, said that four finalists were identified before the list was cut to two. The job was advertised with the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators and the Massachusetts Association of School Committees on Jan. 16, with a deadline to submit applications by Feb. 1.

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