, Salem, MA

April 9, 2013

Beverly to interview interim superintendent candidates


---- — BEVERLY — The School Committee is scheduled to interview three retired superintendents today for the job of interim superintendent.

The candidates are former Somerville Superintendent Albert Argenziano, former Swampscott interim Superintendent Maureen Bingham and former Rockport Superintendent Joseph Lisi.

The interviews will take place at the Beverly High School library beginning at 4 p.m. and are open to the public.

The School Committee is looking for a temporary replacement for Superintendent Marie Galinski, who announced last month that she will retire on June 30.

School Committee President Maria Decker said the committee does not have time to find a permanent superintendent before the start of the 2013-14 school year, so the board has decided to hire on an interim basis.

“We’re not looking for a change agent,” Decker said. “We’re looking for someone who can stay the course as we move through this transition process.”

The three candidates who will be interviewed responded to an advertisement that ran on the Massachusetts Association of School Committees website.

The ad sought candidates with extensive experience as a superintendent and building administrator, strong interpersonal and communication skills, familiarity with the new teacher evaluation process, and a history of successful team building.

Decker said the School Committee plans to make its choice within a week. The interim superintendent would start on a part-time basis in June to ensure a transition period with Galinski, Decker said.

The new person would be paid on a per diem basis as negotiated with the School Committee.

The district will also be losing its second-in-command at the end of the school year. Assistant Superintendent Maryellen Duffy also plans to retire on June 30, Decker said.

School Committee member Annemarie Cesa had suggested at a recent meeting that Duffy be given first consideration for the interim superintendent’s position.

“My big concern is that we’re going to end up on June 30 with two people gone from our administration and hiring two people who don’t know our district,” Cesa said. “That scares the hell out of me.”

Decker said Duffy would have been granted an interview for the interim superintendent’s job if she had asked. Duffy could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Galinski and Duffy have been in their positions for three years.

Galinski, 64, announced her retirement last month, despite the fact that the School Committee had granted her a one-year contract extension at her request last summer. She was a finalist for the superintendent’s job in Groton but withdrew her name from the search.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or