, Salem, MA

October 29, 2013

Anderson sees big issue in moving fifth-graders

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — BEVERLY — Duane Anderson said he’s been involved in education his whole life.

That experience could be helpful to the School Committee, he said, as the district moves forward with building a new middle school and hiring a superintendent.

Anderson said he’s worked for three colleges, including Endicott College in 1970s, where he worked in student affairs departments. He also worked at the old Memorial Middle School in Beverly in the guidance department and as a substitute teacher for three years. He opened his own franchise of Kumon Learning Centers in Danvers and ran it for six years.

“Beverly has been doing fairly well, but there is a need for some improvement,” Anderson said, pointing to “critical math and reading” skills that students need going into college.

The project to build a new middle school is of particular interest to him, he said, adding that he believes in the team approach used at Briscoe Middle School.

His biggest concern is a proposal to place fifth-graders in the new building. While it has been a successful model in other towns and cities, he thinks the city needs to take a hard look at the issue.

“I think that is a really big difference. I am concerned about that,” he said. “I want to research it myself and learn more about it. There should be a lot of input gathered from the community.”

Besides the middle school, he said the hiring of a new superintendent is the biggest issue facing the district. He said he has experience serving on multiple search committees, including the hiring of college presidents.

“It is important that the search process reaches out to the best possible candidates,” he said.




Address: 157 Colon St.
Age: 64
Occupation: Environmental sales
Education: Associate degree in applied science, State University of New York; bachelor's degree in psychology, SUNY; master's degree in guidance, Springfield College
Family: Wife, Gail
Elective offices: None
Community involvement: Chairman, Beverly Democratic City Committee; church committees, First Baptist Church, Beverly
Pastime: Golf and cross-country skiing