BEVERLY — The School Committee yesterday named retired Somerville Superintendent Albert Argenziano as interim superintendent.
Argenziano, a Salem resident, will take over on a temporary basis from Superintendent Marie Galinski, who will retire on June 30.
The School Committee voted 6-1 in favor of hiring Argenziano, an educator with nearly 50 years of experience as a teacher and administrator.
“The impression I got is that he’s very accomplished and a strong leader,” said committee member Matthew Kavanagh. “He’s also a compassionate type of guy.”
The vote was not without controversy, however. Two committee members, Annemarie Cesa and Kris Silverstein, favored hiring Assistant Superintendent Maryellen Duffy as interim superintendent.
Duffy did not apply for the job, but Cesa said she should not have been required to go through the interview process. Several school administrators called her expressing support for Duffy, Cesa said.
“She can step into the job seamlessly,” Cesa said. “I think it’s being silly inviting someone we interviewed for three minutes when she’s been doing it for three years.”
Mayor Bill Scanlon, who is a member of the School Committee, said the committee wanted an interim superintendent who can help with the search for a permanent superintendent.
“It didn’t appear that (Duffy) could help us (in the search),” Scanlon said.
Cesa voted against Argenziano’s appointment, although she said she has no doubt that he can do the job.
“I certainly feel he’s a qualified candidate, 100 percent,” Cesa said. “I am disappointed about the way this all played out.”
Duffy is also planning to retire, leaving the district without its top two administrators at the end of the school year. Kavanagh said members of the community have expressed concern about that vacancy and he made a motion to give the interim superintendent the authority to appoint an interim assistant superintendent.