ANwSU offers JoAn Canning job of superintendent

VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest Supervisory Union board has offered the ANwSU superintendency to current Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union Superintendent JoAn Canning, and the board expects Canning to accept the post on Thursday.

The ANwSU board made the offer on Tuesday morning after Canning, the last candidate standing for the post, made a daylong Monday visit to ANwSU.

After a tour of ANwSU schools, Canning answered questions from district staff and area residents in an afternoon session at Vergennes Union High School and went through a formal interview with the ANwSU board on Monday evening.

Board chairwoman Laurie Gutowski said Canning accepted in a Tuesday morning phone call between the two, pending Thursday’s talks.

However, on Tuesday Gutowski noted the salary range for the position had been advertised, and most superintendent contracts contain similar language.

“We’re negotiating what was advertised,” Gutowski said. “I’m very hopeful and positive I think it’s going to work out very well.”

Gutowski said Canning impressed during her Monday visit.

“I think the interview went very well. She is very professional, answered the questions very well and was consistent,” she said.

Gutowski said the board liked that Canning said she wanted to have a high profile in and out of the schools.

“That’s her style,” Gutowski said. “She is a presence in the community as well as in the schools.”

Canning has both an undergraduate degree and a doctorate from the University of Vermont. She has served in Hardwick as the Orleans Southwest school head since 2010. That supervisory union includes nine schools and about 1,100 students, according to her résumé.

Before then, she was an assistant superintendent in South Burlington, her hometown, for six years. Canning also has extensive experience in special education, including a three-year stint in ANwSU between 1991 and 1994.

Two other candidates dropped out in mid-February, current ANwSU assistant superintendent and Addison Central School Principal Wayne Howe and former South Burlington assistant superintendent and Vermont School Board Association director Winton Goodrich.

Howe said he could not wait for the ANwSU process to play out once he was offered the position of principal at the 300-student Northfield Elementary School, and Goodrich also said he had one job offer in hand and was waiting to hear on a second offer.

Canning, assuming no surprising glitch on Thursday, will replace ANwSU Superintendent Tom O’Brien, whose 13-year tenure is currently one of the longest in Vermont.

Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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