PEABODY — Steven Stone will succeed Patricia Bullard as director of special education in Peabody.
The School Committee unanimously supported hiring Stone following a public interview Tuesday night. Stone, the executive director of special education for Dracut Public Schools since 2005, was selected from a 17-candidate field, six of whom were interviewed by a screening committee of parents and school staff.
Stone said he was attracted to Peabody because of the district's urban/suburban student population and the availability of resources that Dracut, a 4,200-student school system, could not afford. Peabody is a district with 6,093 students, with 19 percent of them classified as special education.
Stone graduated from Northeastern University in 1995, having majored in history and minored in management. He went on to receive a Master of Education degree, with a focus on special education, from Cambridge College. For a certificate of advanced graduate studies, he also took special education administration and educational leadership courses at Cambridge College.
Stone's ré©sumé© includes stops in Beverly, where he was a special education teacher from 1997 until 2001, and Somerville, where he was the pupil personnel director and elementary school principal of Prospect Hill Academy Charter School until 2005.
Asked about his leadership style, Stone described it as "collaborative without fear of making decisions."
"I have not enough ego to think that I have the answer to every question," he said.
Superintendent C. Milton Burnett said he hoped to finalize a contract with Stone within the next week.