Friday, May 22, 1998

Offer goes out to new

CCHS superintendent

by Darlene D'Amour

Andre Ravenelle, currently assistant superintendent of schools in Barnstable has been offered the position of superintendent of the Concord Schools. After a lengthy interview process and after weighing comments from the school community, the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee unanimously chose Ravenelle saying they believe his skills and personality are the best fit for the school system. Details of the offer are being negotiated with Ravenelle, according to Cindy Nock of Carlisle, the regional school committee chair.

School committee member Lauren Walters of Concord said that during the selection process he asked the questions: Is this person a leader? Can he inspire people? Does he put children first? Walters said Ravenelle has these qualities and has the potential to be a great superintendent. Nock said that Ravenelle has inspired a lot of people in the Barnstable schools where he is known for finding and working with the best qualities in people. Nock believes that Ravenelle will help the Concord school system, including Concord-Carlisle High School, continue to grow and flourish.

Two school committee members recently went to Barnstable to get further information and found that Ravenelle is well liked by people in all levels of the schools. Concord member Nancy Beeuwkes said she learned that he could focus a group and has worked extensively on school budget issues. He also supports sending teachers to workshops and started an evening program for high school drop-outs. Concord member Carolyn Musicant said Ravenelle demonstrated a deep caring for children during the interviews.

In a discussion before the final vote was taken on Monday evening, the school committee noted to an audience of parents and teachers that they had started their search looking for someone who could "walk on water." Concord School Committee member Fred Wersan pointed out that while Ravenelle has a Master's degree he does not have a Doctorate degree. According to Cindy Nock, current superintendent Tom Scott did not have his Doctorate when he started as superintendent in Concord, but later went back to school and earned the advanced degree. Musicant lent her support to Ravenelle by saying, "He has the right heart and mind-set....He has respect for teachers and is kid-focused."

The school committee kept the interview process open. After receiving 43 applications for the position, the pool was narrowed to Ravenelle and Gregory Riccio of Phoenix, Arizona who were brought to town to visit the community. The school committee said that students, teachers, parents and others phoned, e-mailed, and faxed in their comments and the majority of comments on Ravenelle were positive.

The new superintendent will fill the position currently held by Scott, who has been the superintendent in Concord for the last ten years. Scott will become executive director of the Educational Collaborative of Greater Boston.

Nock elected chair of RSC

In other news, Cindy Nock was recently elected chair of the seven- member Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee. Nock, who represents Carlisle along with Peter Cole, will serve as chair for one year. The 1998-1999 school year is the third year of her three-year term.