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July 1, 2010

Swampscott won't take Salzer back

SWAMPSCOTT — You can't go home again, according to author Thomas Wolfe. And former Swampscott High School Principal Brian Salzer can't go back again after accepting the job as school business manager in Marblehead.

That job fell through, despite a signed contract, after the Marblehead School Committee complained that it had not been consulted on the hiring, as required by state law.

After discussions with Salzer, Swampscott Superintendent Lynn Celli said, her town will not agree to his returning to the high school. "His resignation was accepted," she said. "We are in the midst of a search to replace him."

Asked if Salzer wanted his old job, she said, "It's more complicated than that." Salzer's tenure in Swampscott was generally praised on his departure after one year at the helm of the high school.

"But Mr. Salzer really wants to be a central office administrator," Celli said. "And we want someone for the long term, someone committed to stay the course." She adds, "Brian has a great set of skills."

Salzer was hired in Marblehead at the behest of Superintendent Paul Dulac, who is now sidelined with medical problems. The school board revolted in part because Dulac agreed to a salary of $125,000, a slight increase over the $124,000 Salzer was earning in Swampscott. The payment was roughly $20,000 more than previously budgeted.

In mid-June, Salzer agreed to reopen negotiations, but they apparently failed as the board subsequently called for a new search.

Marblehead School Committee Chairwoman Patricia Blackmer declined to say if the town had received communication from Salzer's lawyer in the wake of all this. Similarly, she would not say if negotiations with Salzer had ended.

Dulac's aborted hiring of Salzer recalls his abortive firing of Bell School Principal Steve Medeiros last year. Let go after what was deemed a lackluster presentation of his school's curriculum, Medeiros had to be kept on in another capacity when it was realized he had a contract that did not lapse for at least half a year.

Neither Salzer, Dulac, nor the interim superintendent Robert Bellucci could be reached for comment.

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