, Gloucester, MA

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April 10, 2012

Rockport officials poised to pick schools chief

ROCKPORT — The School Committee is expected to make its choice for a new school district leader following deliberations Wednesday night.

The committee is set to meet Wednesday at 7 in the Rockport Middle and High School Library, and Chairman Michael Kelley said the committee will "discuss the two finalist(s) ... for the position of superintendent."

Jon Bernard of Rowley, principal of North Reading High School, and Robert Liebow of Mount Desert Island, Maine, the superintendent of Mount Desert Island Regional School System, are finalists for succeeding to the job of Rockport Superintendent Susan King, who announced in January she would be retiring at the end of this school year in June.

They and a third candidate — John Alberghini, superintendent of Chittenden East Supervisory Union in Vermont — were all forwarded to the School Committee as finalists by a 15-member ad-hoc search committee last month. Alberghini withdrew his name for consideration, but the Bernard and Liebow participated in public interviews, and members of the School Committee carried out site visits to their school districts over the last two weeks.

"We are in the incredibly fortunate position of having two outstanding individuals interested in driving the educational mission of our school system forward," Kelley said Monday. "The challenge now is to come to closure quickly and select a new superintendent.

"We are in a competitive environment for these positions," Kelley said, "and want to make the best possible choice in as timely a way as possible."

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