Superintendent Search in a Quiet Period, but Semi-finalists Chosen

The School Superintendent Search Committee has chosen a series of semi-finalists for the position and over the next two weeks will be conducting private, confidential interviews of those candidates before announcing finalists and rolling out the public portion of the process in April.

The search has been in a period of relative quiet right now, School Committee Chair Michael Loconto said, as they identify candidates from a pool of applicants.

“The long and short of it for us is we haven’t been very public in the last couple of months because it’s been the part of the work where the search firm has been doing its work to identify candidates privately,” he said. “Now we’re in a very quiet place because we’ve identified a group of semi-finalists to bring them in for interviews. Over the next couple of weeks, the Search Committee will be in executive session, private, confidential interviews with the finalists to hear their vision for Boston Public Schools. That’s with the goal of identifying finalists and returning back to the open process.”

He said they hope to be able to start conducting interviews publicly of the finalists by April 27.

“This is all on schedule and puts us in a position to select a candidate in early spring and get them on board,” he said.

He said they believe they could have someone ready by July 1, if not earlier.

The quiet work has involved the search firm reaching out to about 150 people who might be interested or might know someone who is interested. That resulted in identifying more than 70 people to contact about the job, and around 60 were interested. Recently, 39 of those individuals submitted materials to be considered.

There are a number of sitting superintendents, and candidates from inside Massachusetts and candidates from 29 other states.

A clear change from the last search process a few years ago is that there are far more candidates of color.

“The big difference between this search and the last search is we are getting more candidates of color,” said Loconto. “Diversity was a big issue in our community conversations last fall – with particular focus on African American candidates. We’ve been able to double the amount of African American candidates this time around.”

The next milestone in the process will be the April School Committee meeting, where they will begin to set dates for the public interview process of the finalists. It will be up to the Search Committee on how many finalists it wants to put forward to the public.

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