Mascenic: Search committee formed for new superintendent

  • Superintendent Ruthann Goguen photographed at a school board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Her time as Mascenic Superintendent will end in June. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)

  • Jeff Salmonson of New Ipswich

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/6/2017 6:53:25 AM

At a meeting of the Mascenic Regional School Board Monday night, Superintendent Ruthann Goguen filed her letter of resignation and chair Jeff Salmonson announced that the search for a replacement was underway.

Goguen accepted a new job four weeks ago as the head of schools in Webster, Massachusetts, after four years as Mascenic superintendent. Now, the board will try to conduct a full search before she departs at the end of June.

“The school board has been notified that I was offered a position on March 6,” Goguen said. “I want what is best for the district and I’m here to help with the transition, I want that on the record.”

The board voted to accept her resignation with regret.

The district posted the opening on the education job search site School Spring last week and at the time of Monday’s board meeting had at least ten applicants from across the New England states. The posting says Mascenic is looking for an applicant who is already certified to be a superintendent in New Hampshire, and prefers applicants with a master’s degree.

The first stage in the search will be continuing to advertise the positing, then choosing from among the applicants whom to interview. Those decisions will be made by the superintendent search committee of Salmonson, a school board member since 2012, and Steve Spratt, appointed in 2016 and reelected without opposition in 2017.

Salmonson said he would like to be on it because of his experience with a previous superintendent search, after which Goguen was hired, and thought Spratt should join him.

Newly elected Michael Pellerito said, “I think it’s right to have one from New Ipswich and from Greenville, so that’s fine with me.”

Mascenic is just the latest local district to have to hire someone new to head the schools. Within the past two years, ConVal, Jaffrey-Rindge, Wilton-Lyndeborough, Keene, Manchester, Milford and Nashua also brought in new superintendents.

In ConVal, a national search was planned but abandoned when the district chose to promote from within, appointing then-Assistant Superintendent Kim Saunders in July 2016. In neighboring and similarly-sized Jaffrey-Rindge, the search committee was made up of two school board members, five teachers, two members of the support staff, two administrators and three community members. Goguen was a finalist in Nashua.

Mascenic made no explicit mention of additional search committee members at the school board meeting, but has time to change things before the April 21 application deadline.

It will solicit community input regarding the superintendent and in general in the coming year. Residents of Greenville and New Ipswich and Mascenic staff will be surveyed on what to look for in Goguen’s replacement.

Pellerito argued that the board should have a community engagement committee year-round, but was satisfied when Salmonson said the steering committee would hold periodic public forums where residents can chime in.

While seeking a new superintendent, Mascenic can name an interim superintendent, as it has in the past. The acting superintendent would have to be certified also, which an assistant superintendent would be, but Mascenic does not have one.

It does not yet, at least. Director of Student Services Tom Kelly is retiring after this year and the board voted Monday not to fill that position, but to replace it with a newly established assistant superintendent position.

This person would be licensed, and paid more than the director has been. For the upcoming school year, Kelly’s position is budgeted in tandem with the special education director for a sum of $161,203.53. His portion of that is $93,360, and in the current school year he is set to be paid $91,800. The school board estimates that about $95,000 would be on the low end around what it should pay an assistant superintendent.

At the Monday, April 3, school board meeting, Salmonson also announced the members of the other board subcommittees.

The most active is the policy committee, which proposes the rules and policies in the schools. It will be the same members as last year, Spratt and Rachel Anderson.

The board representative to the new budget advisory committee will be Pellerito. Five additional members will be appointed.

Tom Falter will serve as the representative to the wellness, facilities, joint-loss and co-curricular committees.

The negotiations committee, which represents the board in contract discussions like the new collective bargaining agreements, was not assigned. There are no contracts scheduled to be negotiated this year, but former school board member Earl Somero spoke during public comment in defense to maintaining the committee as a way to try lowering healthcare insurance costs. No decision was made after the comment.

The next school board meeting is April 17 at the SAU office in Greenville.


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