(Copyright 1997. The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

Feb. 17, 1997

New superintendent sought

Tattoo Staff Writer

  BRISTOL ≠ Community leaders are tackling the
task of finding someone to replace Edward Maher
when he retires this summer as school
  The city will need a new superintendent for
the next school year ≠ and hopes to find someone
who will serve for years to come.
  The superintendent oversees 10 elementary
schools, three middle schools and two high
schools and a budget pushing $60 million
annually. Maherís successor faces a massive
renovation project at the high schools, the need
to update antiquated computers and implementing
experimental block scheduling reforms.
  Already, a search committee is advertising for
applicants, according to committee chairperson
and school board vice-chairperson Beverly
  Bobroske said the search panel is combing the
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast for suitable
candidates. A consultant has been hired to
screen applications.
  "We owe it to the taxpayers," Bobroske said,
"to get the best possible person we can."
  This will be the first time that an elected,
rather than an appointed, school board will
select a superintendent.
  According to postings, only applicants with a
doctorate in education will be considered.
  Despite the wide range of the search, Bobroske
said, there are many "good-quality people in
Bristol" who could do the job.
  The only person in town to announce her
intention to seek the job is Assistant
Superintendent Ann Clark. 
  "I'm going to give it my best shot," said
  Bobroske said the most important qualities she
is looking for are an understanding of the
curriculum and a good personality. Knowledge of
modern technology, she added, is a definite
  Search committee member and city Finance
Chairman  John Letizia cited experience and
aptitude in finance as tops on his list.
  Clark said that if she is hired, she would try
to bring more technology into the schools. But,
she added, "There are a lot of things that I
want to keep."
  Dr. Maher, slated to retire June 30, declined
comment, saying that he was not directly
involved in the selection process. Maher accused
a reporter of not  grasping the gravity of the
subject at hand.
  Maher earns about $112,000-a-year as
superintendent, though a successor would likely
earn less at first. Neither Maher, the education
department nor the cityís personnel office would
provide a copy of his contract ≠ a public
document ≠ which would likely include other
perks of the job as well as detailing the
superintendentís duties.
  None of the persons interviewed had heard of
any other locals planning to apply for the
position. "If you apply and you don't get it,
it's pretty apparent," said Clark.
  The search committee will be looking for
public input when the selection process begins.
"We want a lot of community involvement in this
process," said Bobroske. 
  The consultant, she said, will meet with each
school board member, local business leaders, the
city government, community organizations,
students, and teachers, and will be made
available for everyone.
  Hopefully, Letizia said, the new
superintendent will remain in Bristol for a long
time. If this proves true, he added, the
selection will be even more important.
  "It's going to be one of the major decisions
to be made in Bristol for several years," he