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WMRSD superintendent search fails

April 14, 2010
WHITEFIELD — The search for a new superintendent of schools for the White Mountains Regional School District has failed, announced SAU 36 Interim Superintendent Dr. Harry Fensom at Monday night's school board meeting.

Both the internal and external screening committees unanimously and enthusiastically voted to recommend a sole candidate to the school board, describing the would-be leader as being "head and shoulders" more suited to the District than any of the other four candidates interviewed.

Both committees met with each of the candidates for 45 minutes, asking them a bank of similar questions.

Only 18 viable candidates, who had the needed certifications and qualifications in hand, applied for the post.

Before the board was able to schedule an interview with the recommended candidate, however, personal circumstances arose that foreclosed that person from relocating at this time to the North Country, Dr. Fensom explained.

Now, he said, the board has only two options to consider: to reopen the search or to appoint an interim superintendent.

Dr. Fensom said that, because the candidate pool is "sparse," he is not sure that reopening the search is the better course of action. When he had discussed the District's dilemma with N.H. School Board Association's executive director Ted Comstock, he said he had learned that a new superintendent would actually be hired for only one of the four in-state top slot vacancies.

The other option, Dr. Fensom reported, is to look for an interim superintendent who would commit to a year's stay. For this to work, he said, however, the board should put feelers out by the end of April.

The next board meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 26.

When asked if he were interested in staying on for a year, Dr. Fensom replied that he would not be willing to be away from his wife and home for another year.

He did recommend, however, that if an interim superintendent were to be hired, scheduling a two weeks' overlap would be in the best interest of the District.

Dr. Fensom explained, "There are critical issues at this point in time that we are now working on that would make it highly desirable to have such an overlap."

Garnett Hill
Martin Lord Osman
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