, Salem, MA

April 5, 2013

School chief finalists named in Ipswich

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — IPSWICH — The three finalists for superintendent come from the Pentucket Regional School District, Cape Cod and Connecticut.

The finalists were named at last night’s School Committee meeting. They are Mashpee Superintendent Ann Bradshaw; Pentucket Assistant Superintendent William Hart; and Susan Viccaro, superintendent in Regional School District 13, which includes the towns of Durham and Middlefield, Conn.

One of the finalists is expected to replace Superintendent Rick Korb, who announced in September that he will retire June 30 after 15 years at the helm of Ipswich schools.

The three finalists were selected after an 11-member search committee reviewed materials from 31 applicants and interviewed nine semifinalists, according to Barry Hopping, search committee co-chairman and School Committee member.

“We consider this group to be exceptional in every aspect of educational leadership and believe that they align with the leadership needs of the district as represented in our leadership profile,” he said.

Each finalist will visit the district and have public interviews, which will take place each night at 7 in the ensemble room. Bradshaw will visit Tuesday, Hart on Wednesday and Viccaro on Thursday. The committee is hoping to name a new superintendent during an April 25 meeting.

Both Bradshaw and Viccaro have resigned from their current positions effective at the end of June, according to news reports and School Committee members from those towns.

Bradshaw has been superintendent in Mashpee for the past eight years. Before that, she was the director of curriculum and assistant superintendent in Falmouth for nine years, where she was previously a teacher for eight years, according to the search committee.

“Both Falmouth and Mashpee have seen significant improvement in student achievement during her respective tenures,” Hopping said.

Mashpee School Committee member David Bloomfield said Bradshaw announced her resignation — effective June 30 — at the beginning of the year.

“I think that she is fantastic, I am real sorry to see her go,” he said.

Hart has been the assistant superintendent for the Pentucket Regional School District, which includes Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury, since 2005. He was previously a high school principal in Leominster and Maine and a teacher at Andover High for seven years, according to the search committee.

“As assistant superintendent, he has focused on teaching and the learning process, as well as developing professional learning communities committed to student improvement,” said Sarah Player, co-chairwoman of the search committee.

Last year, Hart was a finalist for Hamilton-Wenham superintendent but was passed over for Michael Harvey, who was then the principal at Belmont High.

Viccaro, who grew up in Essex, has been superintendent of Regional School District 13 for nine years. Before that, she was director of student services, special education coordinator and special needs teachers “for a total of an additional 19 years,” according to the search committee.

“During her tenure at RSD 13, she has implemented a full-day kindergarten with no increase in the district budget; created the Middlesex Transition Academy, an innovative program with Wesleyan University; upgraded the systems technology effort; and completed four building projects,” Hopping said.

This week, Viccaro announced her resignation effective at the end of June, according to multiple news outlets citing a press release from Kerrie Flanagan, chairwoman of the Board of Education. No reasons for her resignation were given.

Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.