“He has a big personality,” noted Kavanagh.
Cesa noted that Hiersche had won the superintendent’s job in Mashpee earlier this year only to have contract negotiations break off and another candidate given the job. Not mentioned was a May 10 article in capenews.net revealing that “some school committee members expressed concern about Dr. Hiersche after Framingham media outlets alleged that school officials had mishandled sexual assault cases while Dr. Hiersche led the district.” But his supporters on the Beverly board dismissed the Mashpee matter as a contract dispute.
Two other candidates, Beverly High School Principal Sean Gallagher and Revere Assistant Superintendent Christopher Malone were never seriously considered during the hourlong discussion, with the board regretting a lack of comparable experience. Both were praised, however, with Gallagher singled out for his potential.
“He’s had tremendous success here,” said Kavanagh. A lack of a doctorate hurt his prospects. Yet, several members revealed that their high school student children had lobbied in Gallagher’s favor.
“He’s at the football games,” enthused Manzo. “He’s a cheerleader for Beverly High School.” But as for becoming superintendent, “I don’t quite see him there yet.”
Decker noted that there were 45 inquiries regarding the position and 23 applications with 16 of those analyzed by Interim Superintendent Albert Argenziano. A committee of parents, teachers, administrators, citizens and a School Committee member whittled the choice down to four.
Argenziano was saluted for his efforts in leading the search for a permanent superintendent. There was agreement on the committee that they’d been given the opportunity to choose between four excellent candidates.