ACSU narrows search for leader

MIDDLEBURY — A screening committee charged with reviewing applications for the vacant Addison Central Supervisory Union superintendency could endorse a finalist within the next few days.
Peter Conlon, Cornwall representative to the ACSU board and leader of the screening committee, confirmed on Monday that his panel had interviewed one of three finalists who had been flagged for the job. Conlon explained that the other two finalists ended up accepting other positions before the committee had a chance to interview them.
The screening committee was slated to meet late this week to discuss the remaining finalist’s first interview and references. Should those pass muster, the committee could recommend the candidate to the full ACSU board, thus triggering a process that would include disclosure of the person’s name, credentials and a meeting with the school community.
If the committee does not elect to recommend the lone finalist, ACSU officials would need to either call for a new search or agree to have an interim superintendent for a second consecutive year. Interim Superintendent Gail Conley has served in that capacity since the departure of the district’s most recent administrative leader, Lee Sease on June 30, 2011. The ACSU board chose not to renew Sease’s contract for the 2011-2012 academic year. Sease recently filed suit in federal court saying the district notified him of the decision not to renew the contract at a date later than was required in the contract.
This is the screening committee’s second attempt this year at finding a new superintendent. The first search concluded in February without producing a satisfactory match for the job.
Conlon and other ACSU officials have noted a shrinking pool of applicants nationwide for administrative leadership posts in the public education field.
The ACSU includes the towns of Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Shoreham, Salisbury and Weybridge. The superintendent must network with elementary school boards in those towns, along with the UD-3 and ACSU boards.
Reporter John Flowers at [email protected].

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