Hottel is still in talks with Mass. district

NASHUA – Superintendent Christopher Hottel said he expects to make a decision within the next week about whether to take the top job in a Massachusetts school district.

Hottel is a finalist for the superintendent position in North Andover, Mass., a school district roughly a third the size of Nashua.

On Dec. 22, the town’s five-member school committee voted Hottel as its choice for superintendent. The committee picked Hottel from a group of four finalists, including one in-house candidate.

Since then, Hottel said he has been in contract negotiations with the school committee. On Monday, Hottel said negotiations were continuing and that he expected to make a decision soon.

“I would think it would be in the next week or so,” he said.

Hottel currently is making $150,000 in Nashua. The job in North Andover was advertised with a salary range of $160,000 to $180,000.

Barbara Whidden, chairwoman of the North Andover school committee, has not returned several phone calls for comment. Whidden was the only member not to vote for Hottel.

If he does ultimately leave, Hottel said he would stay on until June 30 and would then retire from his job in Nashua. At that point, he would be eligible for payment on any accrued vacation or sick days, according to his contract.

Hottel’s contract requires him to give the school board at least 60 days notice before leaving. Although his contract with the school board runs until 2010, it can be mutually terminated at any time.