Gloucester Superintendent of Schools Richard Safier has named a longtime local elementary school principal to an assistant superintendent's post. but Safier and a team of search committees are otherwise still working to fill five administration positions and 17 teacher positions for the fall.
The principal's position at East Gloucester High School opened up after Gregg Bach, the previous principal, moved into a newly opened assistant superintendent's job for next year, according to Safier. Bach will take over the assistant superintendent's post that had been held by Shayne Trubisz, who is retiring, along with fellow assistant superintendent Brian Tarr. The district is not filing Tarr's position.
"(Bach) has been an outstanding principal both in terms of establishing a vision for the school and his ability for family and community outreach has been superior," said Safier. "I felt he was the best person for the job."
Aside from the East Gloucester's principal's job, however, the open administrative positions include the principal's job left vacant by William Goodwin's retirement at Gloucester High, an assistant principal position at Gloucester High School, and two dean of students positions. The principal's position is also open at West Parish Elementary, with school officials seeking a successor to Jean Perry.
Jonathan Pope, chairman of the School Committee, chalks up the high number of open positions this summer to a baby boomer generation of teachers set to retire, he said. Teachers' retirement benefits stop increasing after 30 years of work, making it time to throw in the chalk, he said.
"There were many baby boomers populating many of these positions and they're hitting 32 or 33 years of service," Pope said. "It's kind of the point where teachers retire — or they just keep working because they like to work," Pope said.
Safier, who just completed his first year as the leader of Gloucester's public school system, said he has enjoyed working with the new retirees, and emphasized that they are leaving amiably.
"I've truly enjoyed working with Shayne Trubisz and (Special Education Director) JoAnne Reiss, and I'm equally excited about working with this new central office team," he said. "I'm not feeling a negative vibe at all."
Safier already hired a new director of special education, Pat Wegmann, who's been in the district for 15 years, including as a special education program leader at O'Maley Middle School, he said.
Safier said the search for the principal positions is underway, and more search committees — consisting of teachers, parents, administrators and community members — are being formed this week and will begin looking to fill the other positions.
Final interviews for the Gloucester High School principal opening are set to take place today at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the high school's library, Safier said. The interviews are open to the public, but the two candidates will only be taking questions from Safier, he said.
The candidates for principal, according to Safier, are Eric Andersen, the current principal at White Mountain Regional High School; and Manny Lopes, assistant principal at Manchester West High School in Manchester, N.H.
A third candidate for the Gloucester principal job took a position elsewhere as an assistant principal, Safier said.
The East Gloucester High School principal finalists will be interviewed publicly at East Gloucester Elementary School on Thursday at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Safier will interview two external candidates — Carol Bratt and Margo Lacey — for the position. He will also interview O'Maley Middle School's current assistant principal, Craig Hovey, as a finalist for the position.
Once Safier hires new principals, those principals will go on to choose teachers for the 17 district-wide teaching position openings.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.