Friday, March 5, 2004
A job well done
The search for a new superintendent for the Carlisle School began in earnest this past November. After a decade as head of the Carlisle School, Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson had announced in the fall of 2002 that she would retire in 2004.
The School Committee had assistance from the search firm, Future Management Systems in Danvers, and an appointed nine-member search committee representing various school-related constituents and including a member from the Carlisle community at large. The search committee reviewed 35 applications for the position, settled on eight applicants to be interviewed as semi-finalists and chose three to go before the School Committee for a final vote.
Named on February 4, the three finalists were Marie Doyle, principal of the Bigelow Middle School in Newton; Richard Bergeron, superintendent/principal in Boxborough; and Thomas Scott, superintendent of K-8 Shirley School in Shirley — all outstanding candidates and each thoroughly suited for the job.
During the second week in February, candidates spent time at the school. There was an opportunity for the public to meet each one on the day of his/her visit, before each was to be interviewed by the School Commitee in the evening. Following school vacation week, a team from the school paid site visits to each of the candidates' schools. Finally, on Wednesday night, February 25, by a unanimous vote, Marie Doyle was chosen to be the new superintendent of the Carlisle School.
In a discussion with Tim Hult, a member of the search committee, the search for a new superintendent couldn't have gone better. As a former School Committee member who had been part of a search committee in the past, Hult saw this as an efficient process that worked. From outstanding input from the consultant provided by Future Management Systems, who, incidentally, had served as a school superintendent for 18 years, to the 35 applications that were provided to the committee, the search team and then the School Committee had top-notch candidates from which to choose, and they chose well.
And let's not forget why so many candidates were interested in applying for this position at our school. Carlisle is very desirable. It is in the highest-achieving district in the state and has the support of parents and the community as a whole.
In June, it will be a fond farewell to Davida Fox-Melanson, who has served our community so well. We look forward to welcoming our new superintendent, Marie Doyle, in the fall. (See article on page 1.)
How cold was it?
According to Mark Twain, everybody loves to talk about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. New England weather in particular is famous for its extremes. We boast some of the fiercest winds and lowest temperatures ever recorded (at the top of Mt. Washington), yet nothing is lovelier than an Indian Summer afternoon in October. The winter of '04 provided us with plenty to talk about temperatures were well below zero, not including the "wind chill factor" (which some believe is a fictitious device concocted to sell more mittens and jack up the price of heating oil).
When discussing the weather, all things are relative. Some years ago we lived in Wisconsin, where sub-zero temperatures are much more common than they are here. One of our neighbors, who regularly rode his bike long distances regardless of the temperature outdoors, was fond of saying that "there is no cold weather, only cold clothes." We've got another friend who teaches school in Alaska, and she reports that when the temperature gets up to zero degrees, the kids walk to school in t-shirts, because for them, that's a warm day. We all know the chilly feeling of a 50-degree day in October, but that same temperature in March feels like the tropics.
During our recent deep freeze, I received the following e-mail from a colleague in Florida, concerned with how we New Englanders were coping with the bitter cold. A native Bostonian herself, here's how she compared the two climates:
60 degrees: Floridians turn on their heaters; New Englanders plant their gardens.
50 degrees: Floridians shiver uncontrollably; New Englanders are still sunbathing.
40 degrees: Floridians contemplate hibernation; New Englanders are still water-
skiing on Lake Winnepesaukee.
30 degrees: In Florida, frost sets in on the golf courses; New Englanders are still
driving with the windows down.
20 degrees: Floridians bundle up with thermal underwear, gloves, and wool hats.
New Englanders throw on a flannel shirt.
10 degrees: In Florida, Home Depot is entirely sold out of space heaters. In New
England, Girl Scouts are still selling cookies door-to-door.
0 degrees: In Florida, all the pipes are frozen. New Englanders happily tailgate at
-10 degrees: More than half the people in Florida are frozen to death; New Englanders
let the dogs sleep indoors.
-20 degrees: Glaciers begin to form in Florida; New Englanders are annoyed because
some of their cars won't start.
-100 degrees: Hell freezes over. The Red Sox win the World Series.
As I look out the window in late February, the snow that fell before Christmas is still on the lawn, the ice on the driveway is three inches thick, and the wind can be bitterly cold. At the same time, the early mornings aren't quite so dark and the bright blue sky gives promise of warmer days to come. (The problem is that we don't know if they're coming in March or in May!) But the good news is that spring training has started and the Red Sox and Yankees meet again for the first time in exhibition this weekend, so how bad could things be?
© 2004 The