IPSWICH — William Hart was unanimously selected last night to become the school district’s next superintendent.
Hart has been the assistant superintendent for the Pentucket Regional School District, which includes Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury, since 2005.
Pending contract negotiations, he will succeed Superintendent Rick Korb, who announced in September that he will retire June 30 after 15 years at the helm of Ipswich schools.
The other two finalists were Mashpee Superintendent Ann Bradshaw and Susan Viccaro, superintendent in Regional School District 13, which includes the towns of Durham and Middlefield, Conn.
Before its selection, the School Committee’s main discussion revolved around Hart and Viccaro. While some members favored Viccaro, it was clear that five out of the seven members supported Hart. In the end, Hart was unanimously selected.
Hart accepted the position last night over the phone, and contract negotiations will begin shortly, according to School Committee Chairman Hugh O’Flynn.
Members mentioned his passion, ambition, energy and strengths in technology, community outreach and curriculum as the reason he rose above the other candidates.
O’Flynn said he is hoping to bring the school district to the next level and that of all the candidates, Hart would be “our transformational leader.”
“A leader who could take us to the next level as a curriculum leader and with technology,” he said. “I found his passion very much a positive.”
There were some concerns raised by the board, mostly over his lack of experience with budget development.
“He has not been involved in budgeting. The prior superintendent was a business manager brought in to run the district,” member Jeff Loeb said, noting that “Pentucket has had serious financial problems. … This is no question that is an area is going to have to learn.”
But later in the meeting, Loeb said, “I think he is the right person for us, right now.”