Friday, March 5, 2004
Superintendent position offered to Marie Doyle
The Carlisle School Committee (CSC) voted unanimously on Wednesday, February 25, to offer the position of Superintendent of Carlisle Schools to Marie Doyle, the principal of the Bigelow Middle School in Newton since 1995. This will be Doyle's first superintendent position. "There are two ways to look at our need," explained CSC chair David Dockterman during the CSC meeting. They could vote for a superintendent who brings experience as a superintendent, including a major building project, and knowledge of state requirements as the first priority, he said. Or, they could choose a candidate whose strongest attribute is interpersonal skills, who will bring the community into the school and focus on "child-driven" directives as a first priority.
The other two finalists for the position were Richard Bergeron, superintendent/principal of the Blanchard Memorial school in Boxborough, and Thomas Scott, superintendent of the K-8 school in Shirley.
Site visit impressed all
Dockterman asked the committee members to list their preference for the superintendent position. Committee members Nicole Burkel, Michael Fitzgerald and Suzanne Whitney Smith felt Doyle was their first choice due to her interpersonal skills and her exceptional focus on the students at her school. "Our biggest concern," said Carlisle third-grade teacher Deb O'Halloran, while discussing the site visit to Doyle's school, "was that she didn't have elementary experience."
Carlisle School Co-Principal Steve Goodwin noted Doyle made efforts to interact with students during her visit to Carlisle school. "She kneeled down and looked with kids at the Native American projects." Carlisle Reading Specialist Donna Clapp agreed, "I observed that, too." Goodwin added the site team's visit to Newton was the most "non-structured," which gave them a chance to see Doyle interact with the students, teachers and staff. "It was not scripted," he said. "The kids came right up to speak to her. It was wonderful to watch Marie interact with her students." Fourth-grade teacher Deb O'Halloran added, "Gene Stamell (Carlisle third-grade teacher) thought very highly of her."
Concerns about building experience
School Committee and Building Committee member Paul Morrison, concerned about the future expansion plans at Carlisle School, spoke in favor of candidate Richard Bergeron of Boxborough. He felt it would be important to have a superintendent who has been through the building process. He agreed, though, that Doyle's communication skills were excellent.
Carlisle resident Christy Barbee asked why candidate Tom Scott of Shirley wasn't a top choice. "They are all strong candidates," Dockterman explained. Morrison expressed concern that Scott had not worked in communities that were similar to Carlisle. "We have to determine what he [Scott] could bring to Carlisle."
After further discussion a vote was taken and Doyle was chosen unanimously. Dockterman asked the staff and teachers how they felt about Doyle as the choice of superintendent. "We could work with any of them," responded O'Halloran. "Let me say, on the verge of exhaustion, that I'm really excited," said Dockterman. "We've got another adventure."
Doyle, reached at her school the next morning, was also excited, and probably exhausted as well. "They called me at ten o'clock last night," she said. "I'm excited to be coming to such a wonderful community where there is such a high value on education." She said she enjoyed committee's the visit to her school, and was very proud of how her staff handled the day. "It's a bittersweet move. I love my staff and Newton, but I am leaving for an equally good school."
© 2004 The