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December 20, 2013

New Beverly superintendent signs five-year contract

BEVERLY — The Beverly School Committee has signed a five-year contract with new Superintendent Steven Hiersche that will pay him $170,000 per year.

Hiersche is scheduled to start on July 1, 2014, unless he is released early from his current commitment as interim executive director of an educational collaborative based in Natick.

Matthew Kavanagh, chairman of the School Committee’s negotiations subcommittee, said the board wanted the stability of a five-year commitment from Hiersche.

“Based on the results of our community survey, that’s what the community wanted, and that’s what teachers and administrators wanted,” Kavanagh said. “He has a wealth of experience, and because of his experience, we were willing to give him a longer term than we were for an inexperienced superintendent.”

Hiersche said he is happy with the contract and is looking forward to coming to Beverly.

“Right away, I want to find some time to get up to Beverly after the first of the year before the contract actually kicks in,” he said. “I want to start the process of getting to know people.”

Hiersche, 62, said he and his wife, who works in Falmouth, will keep their home in Bourne on Cape Cod, but he will get an apartment in Beverly.

“It’s a full-time job. It’s not something I can commute to,” he said. “I want to make sure I’m in the area for events in the evening.”

Hiersche said he is excited to become involved with the process of building a new middle school. The City Council recently authorized the spending of $1.5 million for a feasibility study and schematic design for a new school at the site of former Memorial Middle School on Cabot Street.

Hiersche was chosen as superintendent by the School Committee on Nov. 15 over three other finalists. He has 17 years of experience as a superintendent, including in Framingham, Watertown and Plymouth.

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