Photo: The school administration building in Belmont
On behalf of the Belmont School Committee, I would like to thank Geoff Lubien and every other member of the Belmont Superintendent Screening Committee (SSC) for their diligence in fulfilling their charge of presenting up to three qualified finalists to the School Committee. As Lubien explained in his recent piece, the SSC spent many hours over six weeks reviewing 22 applications, selecting and interviewing five semi-finalists, and recommending two finalists to the School Committee. They operated on a tight timeline that has become common as school districts throughout Massachusetts compete for high quality leadership in a time when the market is volatile.
The School Committee was thrilled to interview the two recommended finalists. After learning that one of Belmont’s candidates dropped out before the finalists were selected and seeing finalists withdraw from superintendent searches in Newton and Somerville, the School Committee made the informed decision to invite the other semi-finalists identified by the SSC to interview as well. We made this decision after hours of deliberation in an effort to fulfill our obligation to Belmont students and citizens to find the best possible superintendent for our schools. It turned out to be an effective decision as the pool narrowed even further when only three candidates accepted our invitation.
The candidates who accepted our invitation met with the public, students, and the School Committee. Since the interviews, School Committee members have been gathering feedback from the community and conducting thorough reference checks, all in an effort to determine whether the remaining candidates meet the criteria identified by the Belmont community.
The Belmont School Committee is an elected body charged under state law with hiring the superintendent. The SSC was an appointed advisory body. Just like the Warrant Committee chaired by Lubien is appointed to make recommendations about the budget that Town Meeting is free to adopt or set aside, the SSC was appointed to advise the School Committee about candidates for the superintendent position, and the School Committee is free to adopt or set aside those recommendations. In this case, the School Committee adopted all of the SSC’s recommended finalists as well as the semi-finalists that the SSC selected from a large applicant pool.
All of us on the Belmont School Committee are volunteers who care deeply about doing what is best for Belmont students. We are fortunate and thankful to have dedicated community members, including Lubien, who volunteered to help us with selecting the next person to lead our school district so our students have the best possible future. We are also thankful to the three excellent finalists who took time to visit Belmont last week and we feel confident in our ability to make the decision that is right for all of our students and the Belmont community.
Meghan Moriarty, Chair
Belmont School Committee