The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 15, 2010

Carlisle Principal Joyce Mehaffey applies for post of superintendent

Interviews Jan. 20, Feb. 10



At the January 6 Carlisle School Committee (CSC) meeting, Arthur Bettencourt of NESDEC (The New England School Development Council) announced one internal candidate, Middle School Principal Joyce Mehaffey, had submitted her application for the position of superintendent. The public will be able to observe when Mehaffey is interviewed during the School Committee meeting on January 20 at 7 p.m. in the Carlisle School library. The public will be able to participate in a moderated forum with Mehaffey on Wednesday, February 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Clark Room at the Town Hall, as well as an informal “meet and greet” earlier the same day from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Corey dining room.

The CSC, upon advice from Bettencourt, decided to search internally for a qualified candidate before opening the position externally. The CSC plans to combine the superintendent responsibilities with those of a principal, reducing the school administrative positions. The current Superintendent, Marie Doyle, has submitted her resignation, effective June 30.

Bettencourt advised that the internal search did not require a search committee to screen resumes or conduct initial interviews. Past school superintendent search committees have included members of the CSC, as well as faculty and community representatives, who read resumes and performed initial interviews with candidates.

In this case, the consultant recommended three separate interviews or forums: an interview with the CSC at a public School Committee meeting; a separate public forum for citizens to pose questions to Mehaffey; and a private teacher/faculty forum with Mehaffey.

He further recommended that no School Committee members be present at the teacher/faculty forum. “It changes the flavor of the forum to have School Committee members there,” he explained. Instead he suggested the teacher/faculty forum could be informal, with refreshments, and a feedback mechanism could be provided which the teachers would pass on to the CSC.

After all interviews are conducted, the consultant suggested the committee may hold a private, executive session to discuss a potential contract.

He suggested the CSC ask around 12 questions at their January 20 interview, and gave the committee a list of categories from which to form questions. The committee distributed the work of developing the questions, which would be submitted to Koski.

Assignments were: Dale Ryder - communication, personnel evaluation and planning or time management; Bill Fink - accomplishments, conflict resolution and problem solving; Louis Salemy - collective bargaining, decision making and problem solving; Chad Koski - budget, accountability and curriculum.

For the forum in February, members of the public can submit questions to the CSC by email ( or by submitting questions on a card at the forum. Bettencourt suggested the CSC start the public forum by giving “an opportunity for Joyce to make her statement, and put her views out there.” Bettencourt will also attend the February forum. ∆

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