Full search for new Hudson superintendent on the horizon

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Full search for new Hudson superintendent on the horizon
The Hudson Public Schools administration building sits at the corner of Apsley St. and Lake St. in Hudson. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

HUDSON – The School Committee has begun their full-search for a new superintendent.

This comes after Superintendent Marco Rodrigues announced his intent to retire in June and the committee voted to conduct a full search for his successor.

During a School Committee meeting Nov. 15, the board appointed the New England School Development Council (NESDEC) to assist them with the search for Rodrigues’ successor. NESDEC is a non-profit educational organization that aids schools with executive searches.

The total cost of the search would be $14,060, according to NESDEC’s proposal packet. This amount would include a $11,600 professional consulting fee and a $2,460 fee for “search related expenses,” including cost of supplies to advertise the position and the travel expenses of the consultants. 

The town will receive a 20% discount on the search because Hudson is a NESDEC affiliate, the packet said.  

Board approves a full search 

During a School Committee meeting Oct. 25, the board voted to approve a full search for a new superintendent. 

Chair Michele Tousignant Dufour said the committee does have a “potential” internal candidate – Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Provost – who has informed the board she is interested in applying for the position.

Tousignant Dufour said there are no other “potential” internal candidates who have said they are interested in applying. 

Although there is a “potential” internal candidate, committee members voiced their support of a full search during the meeting. 

Committee member Mark Terra-Salomão asked Tousignant Dufour if it would be possible for the committee to conduct a full superintendent search that is concurrent with the interview process of Provost. This is how the committee has conducted previous superintendent searches.

However, Tousignant Dufour said requesting resumes while interviewing a potential candidate is “not technically appropriate.” 

She said the reason why the School Committee had previously conducted a full search while interviewing internal candidates is because the internal candidates were not assistant superintendents. 

“I see that [this search compared to the last search] as apples to oranges. It is not an equivalent situation,” she said. 

Committee member Chris Yates said with his experience serving on the School Committee and Select Board, conducting a full search is a stronger option than quickly hiring an internal candidate. 

“I have nothing against internal candidates,” Yates said. “I just think that we have a duty to the district and the town to just make sure we are compiling the best group of people applying to a job that is arguably the most important job in the town.” 

Committee member Steven Sharek agreed. 

Sharek, who was appointed over the summer, said he “wouldn’t feel right” about appointing an internal candidate because as he is new to the committee, he wouldn’t have a full understanding of how qualified the internal candidate is. 

Terra-Salomão, who agreed with Yates and Sharek, said that a search would also eliminate the personal biases committee members may have toward the internal candidate. 

“A search doesn’t mean that an internal candidate couldn’t happen,” he added 

Committee member Steven Smith said that while he supported a full search, he encouraged internal candidates to apply for the job. 

“I feel like it is my responsibility to make sure we get the best person possible and that would mean, in my mind, opening up a full search,” Smith said.