Tension Builds Over Superintendent Search

The search for a new superintendent is causing friction between School Committee members, as some members of the committee feel a bit frozen out of the process of picking a suitable candidate.

The interview process has been led by Superintendent Catherine Latham, who was criticized at a recent School Committee meeting for not seeking more input from the committee members. Latham counters that she is the only person who has done in-depth research on each individual candidate and that she has listened closely to the opinions of the committee.

Responding to criticism of the search process from a committee member, she said “You were not there for the interviews, nor the second round of interviews, I’m going to assume you didn’t call every one of the references, I did. You don’t know the needs of the school department, I do… the process was open, it was fair, and it was extensive, and you are second-guessing that process, is that correct?”

Committee member Michael Satterwhite voiced concerns seemingly held by much of the committee when he stated “It’s just that each time one of us is addressing the superintendent she gets back to how we weren’t involved in the first, second or third interview, and then she mentions some of the other candidates… in addition to that, as school committee members we’re privy to information as well, we saw the job posting so we know what we’re looking for, so to say we don’t know what we’re talking about is unfair.”

Superintendent Latham took exception to this, firing back, “I didn’t say that, I said they weren’t involved with the process. I never said they don’t know what they were talking about.”

The issue ended up being tabled until the next meeting.

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