MARBLEHEAD — Acting Superintendent Brian Salzer will make a new home for himself in Northampton, after that town's School Committee unanimously selected him to be the next superintendent.
"I am very excited," Salzer said. "This is my first official superintendency, something I have been preparing for through many years in education."
"The community is a great fit for me and my family," he said.
Salzer has been the acting superintendent in Marblehead since March 11 when former Superintendent Paul Dulac stepped down. Salzer was the business manager throughout most of this past academic year before he was promoted.
The Northampton School Committee announced Salzer's hiring over three other finalists at a June 23 meeting. Before the committee announced its choice, union members waved signs reading "union busting is disgusting" and "play fair," protesting how the committee dealt with budget shortfalls — indicating the burden awaiting Salzer when he arrives in western Massachusetts.
Salzer is scheduled to start in Northampton on Aug. 1, which is a month after Marblehead's new superintendent, Gregory Maass, is scheduled to arrive.
Salzer said he will be working with Maass, who is leaving his current position as superintendent of Green Bay area public schools, during the next couple of weeks to help him acclimate to his new surroundings.
Salzer said the district is in a good position to move forward with Maass.
"The past four years of commitment to professional development is second to nothing I have ever seen," Salzer said. "Teachers are very well-trained and have a lot of skills and methodology to improve student learning."
Financially, Salzer said, Marblehead is in a good position, as well.
"We are in pretty good shape. Statewide, things are going to be tight next year," he said, praising the "shrewd and conservative" approach of Marblehead schools.
Maass said he is excited to start his new job in Marblehead.
"The first thing I want to do is come to Marblehead and learn about the community and its connection to its schools," he said. "We want 100 percent of our kids to be successful and do whatever they want to do in their lives."
His new district, however, will be a major change from his previous position — a switch Maass said is to his liking. In Green Bay, Maass oversaw a district of more than 20,000 students, 57 percent of whom qualify for reduced-price lunches. In Marblehead, the district is not only much smaller but features higher student achievement and economic prosperity.
"I know many metrics in Marblehead are very good," Maass said. He wants to push the district to improve further.