Three finalists named in CCHS Superintendent search

by Karina Coombs

During a January 24 joint meeting of the Concord-Carlisle Regional (RSC) and Concord School Committees, three finalists were named for the Superintendent position at the Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) and Concord Public Schools. The finalists recommended by a 15-member Superintendent Search Committee are: Dr. Bella Wong, Dr. Laura Chesson and Dr. Laurie Hunter. The new Superintendent is slated to begin on July 1 with current Superintendent Diana Rigby leaving the position in June. 

Each of the candidates was scheduled to spend a day in the district meeting with staff, administrators and students at the five schools. 

Public interviews Jan. 25 - 27

School Committee interviews were set to be held in public each evening at 6:30 p.m. beginning on Wednesday, January 25 in the auditorium at the Willard School in Concord, with an opportunity for community members to ask questions after the interview. The candidate’s were invited in the following order: Hunter on Wednesday, January 25, followed by Chesson on Thursday, January 26 and Wong on Friday, January 27. 

Following background checks including news and social media accounts, the School Committees will select the preferred candidate at a joint meeting on Tuesday, January 31 at 6:30 p.m. and begin contract negotiations. 

RSC member Daniel Conti recused himself from the selection process after revealing a conflict of interest, noting that he currently works with one of the candidates.

Finalists’ backgrounds

Hunter is currently the Assistant Superintendent of the Duxbury Public Schools where she has been since 2013, following 14 years as a principal in the Freetown Lakeville Public Schools. Hunter earned her Ed.D. in education leadership from Nova Southeastern University and her M.Ed. from Harvard University. She is a 1990 graduate of Boston College where she received a BA in elementary education.

Chesson is the current Assistant Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools where she has been for nearly five years. She was a high school principal in Maynard for four years and an assistant principal at the Leominster Public Schools for three. Chesson received a Master’s degree in educational administration and Ed.D in school leadership from the University of Massachusetts. She is a 1981 graduate of Alfred University. Chesson spent 10 years at I.B.M. before making a career change to education. 

Wong is the current Superintendent/Principal at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School where she has been for five years. She also spent five years as the Superintendent and six years as the Assistant Superintendent in Wellesley. Wong received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of California Davis School of Law and earned an Ed.M from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a 1982 graduate of Harvard College. ∆