Milford picks superintendent of schools

MILFORD – The superintendent of schools in three Manchester suburbs is likely to become the next superintendent in Milford, where he’ll oversee more grade levels and answering to fewer school board members.

The Milford School Board unanimously voted Monday night to offer the position to Robert Suprenant, who is currently superintendent for SAU 15. That SAU includes the school districts in Auburn, Candia and Hooksett, and as a result, Suprenant currently answers to three different school boards.

“Changing from a multi-district system to a single district was important to him,” said board member Gary Daniels.

Also, those three towns have only elementary and middle schools, sending their high school students to Manchester. Overseeing a high school was also important to Suprenant, board members said.

Suprenant was chosen over Mark Genovesi, principal of Pelham Elementary School and a former assistant principal in Keene.

“The board joked we’d hire both of them if we could find a way to make them split the job,” said School Board Chairman Peter Bragdon after the 5-0 decision.decision.

The third finalist, from Michigan, dropped out just before the final interview last week to take a job with a private company.

Negotiations over the contract, including salary, are continuing, but may be completed this week, Bragdon said.

It is still unsettled when Suprenant, who was not present at the meeting, would begin work. The current Milford superintendent, Jim Stetson, has retired but is working on a part-time basis through Dec. 31. Suprenant is likely to start working some time between then and the end of the school year, although he may stay on his current position through School District Meeting.

Stetson is a 33-year veteran of the Milford School District, including four years as superintendent.

The superintendent selection started months ago with a committee, appointed by the school board, of 15 people, many of them not employees of the school district. They reviewed applications of 18 candidates from eight different states, winnowed that to seven semifinalists and then the three finalists who were handed to the School Board for interviews and a vote.

School Board member Bob Willette had the most exhaustive view of the process. He served on the selection committee until he was appointed last month to fill out the term of Sue Boore, so he’s the only person to have been in on the selection process from the beginning to the end – with the resulting slew of long meetings that this involved.

“My wife said she wasn’t going to divorce me because she thought that she already had,” he joked.

Before becoming principal in SAU 15, Suprenant was assistant principal there, and previously was a principal in Hooksett and an assistant principal in Allenstown.