GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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October 24, 2012

Rockport schools seek counseling sub

The Rockport school system is preparing to hire a new substitute middle school guidance counselor to fill the position formerly held by Howard J. Kasper, until this summer, when allegations against him arose at a private school where he worked prior to Rockport.

Kasper has been on leave with pay from his counseling job pending an investigation of the allegations of sexual misconduct with young boys at the Landmark School in Beverly in the 1970s and ’80s. And, under an Oct. 4 agreement reached with the district, Rockport schools will continue to employ Kasper at half time — and half pay — until Jan. 31, 2015. Kasper has, however, committed to resigning as of Jan. 31, 2015, and has submitted an irrevocable letter of resignation.

Rockport schools Superintendent Robert Liebow said Tuesday the school is advertising for a long-term substitute guidance counselor and preparing to interview candidates who would work until the end of the school year, when the school will then advertise the permanent position.

“Your pool of candidates might be stronger in the spring,” Liebow said. “Obviously, if we found somebody strong then they’d be an ideal candidate and we’d encourage them to apply again in the spring.”

The money for the positions will come partly from Kasper’s former pay, and from other corners of the budget — such as the revenue from some 30 additional school choice students now attending school for whom the district had not budgeted revenue.

The school’s current advertisement for the position does not specify a pay rate, according to Liebow. He said the employee’s pay will depend on factors like level of experience and personal qualifications.

”It just really depends on who we hire,” Liebow said. “There may be additional costs and there might not be additional costs, but nothing will be taken away from the kids.”

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