Finalist list shrinks for superintendent job

NASHUA – A committee of district staff and community members is expected to make its recommendation of finalists for the new superintendent next week.

The 16-member interview committee spent this past week narrowing down the 10 final candidates for the position to an undisclosed number of semifinalists.

Those interviews were closed to the public to protect the confidentiality of the candidates.

Associate Superintendent Ed Hendry, who is facilitating the interviews, was reluctant to say Thursday how the interviews went or exactly how many people are remaining in the search.

The process approved by the Board of Education has the interview committee narrowing down the applicants to six semifinalists by Monday, but it’s not known if that’s how many people are still left.

Hendry said the next round of interviews with the semifinalists would be on Tuesday. There is a meeting of the board’s search committee scheduled for later that night.

The interview committee is supposed to present no more than four finalists to the Board of Education for consideration.

It will then be up to the Board of Education to approve the finalists and proceed with the final round of the search process.

The current superintendent, Christopher Hottel, will stay on in Nashua until July, when he will take over as head of the North Andover, Mass., school system. Hottel announced he was leaving in January.

Eighteen people applied for the Nashua position, according to central office. No information about the applicants, as far as where they are from or whether any are in-house, is being released.

The Board of Education narrowed down the 18 applicants to 10 before handing the process off to the interview committee.

Board member Charlie Katsohis, head of the search process, said the board has stayed completely out of the process while the interview committee completes its review of the candidates.

“Everything is on schedule,” he said.

The board has set a date of May 11 to announce the finalists. Those names will be made public and there will be a series of public forums May 18, when people can ask the finalists questions.

There will also be criminal and cial background checks, as well as site visits to the districts of the finalists.

Final interviews with the board are also scheduled for May 18, with the announcement of the new superintendent set for May 26. Those dates could change, however.

The board has set a salary range of $135,000 to $150,000 for the new superintendent.