Last superintendent application in

NASHUA – The School District received its 16th and final application for its superintendent position Tuesday, the last day to apply for the job.

The superintendent position will become vacant this summer when Christopher Hottel leaves in July to become head of the North Andover, Mass., School District.

At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, Hottel said 15 applications had been submitted. Sharon Vincent, a secretary at the central office, said the last application came in Tuesday.

As they began the search process, board members were cautioned that because there is a smaller pool of viable superintendent candidates not to expect to be flooded with applications.

“With all we’ve heard, quite frankly I wasn’t sure how many we’d get,” said board member Rick Dowd, one of two members on the board remaining from the last search in 2005.

Dowd said he was happy with the final tally of 16.

Board of Education member Robert Hallowell, a member of the search committee, said he was expecting to get about 20 applications but said he wasn’t concerned that the final tally was slightly lower.

“I think we’ll find that we have more than enough qualified applicants,” he said.

Vincent said she couldn’t release any information about where the applicants are from or whether any are in-house candidates.

The board placed advertisements for the position in newspapers, national education publications and on Web sites, and also contacted school districts across New England.

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

Unlike in 2005, board members will have a chance to review the applications that were submitted. Dowd said that in 2005, the search firm narrowed down the applicants to five or six finalists, who were then presented to the board.

“We never knew who applied,” he said.

For this search, the board opted not to hire a search firm, doing the search on its own. All board members will have an opportunity to go to the central office and review all of the applications.

The next step will be for the board to narrow down the applicants to the top 10 people. Those candidates will then be presented to a 16-person interview committee.

That committee, made up of community members, teachers, district staff and other local representatives, will interview those 10 candidates and narrow them down to up to four finalists.

Once at that stage, the names of the finalists will be made public. There are a series of community forums planned at which members of the public, teachers and parents will have a chance to meet the finalists and ask them questions.

The board has set a tentative date of May 26 to announce its choice for superintendent.