The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 17, 2006


Carlisle School copes after firing Director of Food Service

Dennis Dockham was first placed on administrative leave and has since been fired as the Carlisle School's Director of Food Service, following his arrest last week in Dracut on charges of "posing children for sexual battery" and "assault and battery on two minors." Carlisle Police Chief John Sullivan said there was no evidence of any inappropriate actions by Dockham while at work on the Carlisle School campus. (See the Editorial on page 2, and also the Mosquito, February 10, and Dennis Shaughnessey's article in the Lowell Sun, February 9.)

According to School Superintendent Marie Doyle, many people have pitched in to help keep the kitchen running smoothly until a replacement is hired. She said School Business Manager Steve Moore, who has experience in the food service industry, is "doing double duty" and the cafeteria employees are working very hard with the help of school aides who normally supervise the children in the lunchroom. Meanwhile, parent volunteers have stepped forward to fill in for the aides and monitor the lunchroom.

The school has already begun to advertise for a new Director of Food Services. Moore is forming a hiring committee with parent and teacher representatives. Doyle said that one committee member is also on the board of the Carlisle School Association.

Doyle said that it is customary to call the direct supervisor of a prospective employee when checking references, and before Dockham was hired last September, the Stoneham School Business Manager was queried. Doyle said Carlisle was told that Dockham had resigned, and that the Stoneham School was experiencing budget cuts.

Also standard hiring procedure is a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check. In an e-mail to parents on February 9, Doyle said that CORI checks showed "no charges, convictions or any criminal investigations."

While working in Carlisle, Dockham was earning a salary of $40,000 a year.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito