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ANeSU names finalists for superintendent job

BRISTOL — The Addison Northeast Supervisory Union board expects to select a new superintendent in the next month, and a search committee has whittled down a pool of 18 applicants to three finalists: Catrina DiNapoli, David Adams and Douglas Harris.
As part of the superintendent selection process, the public is invited to meet the candidates next Monday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. at a forum at Mount Abraham Union High School — and learn more about the candidates’ visions for the school district.
The finalists are vying for a vacancy that will be left this summer when ANeSU Superintendent Evelyn Howard steps down after 12 years on the job.
One of those finalists might be familiar to local residents — Catrina DiNapoli. DiNapoli has served as principal of Bristol Elementary School since July 2009. The former assistant principal at Charlotte Central School — from August 2004 to June 2009 — is the only candidate without former superintendent experience. But DiNapoli, a Monkton resident, is the only one who has worked in the ANeSU district.
Ray Proulx, a former Vermont superintendent and an education consultant who is guiding the selection process, said DiNapoli is also the youngest of the three finalists, though he declined to provide their ages.
David Adams of Shaftsbury is the current superintendent of Windsor Southwest Supervisory Union, where he’s been since July 2009. Adams comes with more than three decades of education experience, ranging from assistant superintendent of Vermont Southwest Supervisory Union in Bennington to principal of Mount Anthony Union Middle School in Bennington to probation officer at the Connecticut juvenile court back in the ’70s.
Douglas Harris also brings a breadth of experience to the equation. The former Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union superintendent — from July 1990 to 1994 — and former assistant superintendent of Essex Town School District — from July 1984 to Sept. 1990 — has held two high-level education positions in the past 17 years. He left his superintendent role in 1994 to assume the position as director of education for the National Gardening Association. Between September 1998 and December 2011, he held the position of executive director for the Vermont Institute for Science, Math and Technology. The Swanton resident has published several works on curriculum design, guidance methods and classroom standards, and he has previously provided technical support to ANeSU on issues like personalized learning, student engagement and the district’s mathematics curriculum.
The 15-person ANeSU Superintendent Search Committee used a set of five character traits or “expectations” to evaluate applicants for this position, according to Proulx. Those traits were gathered from the ANeSU board and a public hearing. The search committee looked for:
•  An “educational leader and continuous learner,” who is passionate about education and inspires others.
•  A “capacity builder,” who can unify complex organizations and understands school budgeting.
•  A “collaborative achiever,” who can meet goals by working well with others, yet can stick to his or her guns when it comes to student education goals.
•  A “visionary and transformer” who is motivated by an idealistic vision of a school and can apply that vision and his or her knowledge to developing ANeSU schools.
•  A “communicator,” who is trustworthy, respects all individuals, has strong listening skills and can motivate others.
On Monday, local residents will have an opportunity to meet the three candidates and add their formal input via a rating system. Proulx will then compile all of the public ratings and present them to the ANeSU board.
At the forum, each candidate will make presentations in different rooms, said Proulx; receptionists will greet members of the public when they come in and assign them to a room. Townspeople will then shift rooms to listen to the different candidates and voice their questions and concerns.
Reporter Andrew Stein is at andrews@addisonindependent.com.

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