GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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March 22, 2012

Rockport taps 3 finalists to head schools

ROCKPORT — Superintendents from Maine and Vermont and the principal of North Reading High School have been named as the three finalists for succeeding Susan King as Rockport's own superintendent of schools.

The town's ad-hoc Superintendent Search Committee, headed by Chairwoman Pamela Brindamour, announced and delivered the names of the finalists to the full School Committee on Wednesday night after whittling down what had started as a field of 47 applicants.

The finalists are John Alberghini, superintendent of Chittenden East Supervisory Union in Vermont; Jon Bernard, principal of North Reading High School; and Robert Liebow, superintendent of Mount Desert Island Regional School System in Maine.

Liebow is also a finalist for the superintendent position in Ashland, announced Monday. Bernard, who lives in Rowley, was listed as a finalist to replace the Amesbury superintendent last year, but remained in his present position.

The 15-person search committee narrowed the field with an eye toward choosing the trio of finalists who will now meet with the School Committee for public interviews.

"(Search Committee) Chairperson Pam Brindamour and co-chair Theresa Scatterday did an incredible job organizing and running the initial screening process, " said School Committee Chairman Michael Kelley.

In a statement, Kelley said that he was glad the search committee was able to pick finalists so quickly, saying it would give whomever the committee decides upon time to meet with King before she retires in June.

"It's always desirable to have an overlap period when superintendents transition," said Kelley. "Thanks to the efficient work of the search committee, we are admirably placed to take advantage of that opportunity."

King announced her retirement in January, citing a desire to spend more time with her husband.

With several other Eastern Massachusetts school districts simultaneously looking for new superintendents and other administrators, members of the School Committee were initially uneasy about the likelihood of finding a good person for the spot without needing to find an interim superintendent. But the large number of applicants eased many of those fears, Kelley indicated.

"The high quality and high volume of the applicants was a pleasant surprise — Rockport for many was an extremely desirable opportunity," Kelley said.

Stephanie Bergman can contacted at 978-283-7000 x3451 or sbergman@gloucestertimes.com

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