Parents in Dedham will have several chances in the coming months to voice their input as part of a search for a new Superintendent for Dedham Public Schools.
Current Superintendent June Doe is set to retire at the end of the school year, and as such, school officials have begun the process to find the next leader of the school system.
"It was announced two years ago, when June was up for contract renewal and she stated that she was going to do two years and then retire," said School Committee member Mayanne Briggs, who is leading the search efforts and heading up the Screening Committee.
Doe, who has worked in the system for more than 30 years, previously served as a foreign language teacher at Dedham Middle School before taking on the role of assistant principal, and eventually Superintendent, Briggs said. Doe could not be reached for comment as of this writing.
The search for a new superintendent has been ongoing for several months; officials hired the New England School Development Council in December as the executive search firm, effective Dec. 1, 2013.
Parents, school administrators and officials will be able to voice their input as part of the process, beginning with several focus groups that begin on Tuesday, Jan. 7 (see below for other important upcoming dates and public input sessions).
In addition to the input sessions, residents and parents can submit their answers to an online questionnaire.
"It's a chance for them to express to the consultants what they feel are the most important issues, qualifications, what they see as the biggest need is for the school system," Briggs said. "It basically mirrors the online survey."
Those who can't attend a particular session can attend another session, Briggs said.
"Then we are going to be requesting letters of intent to be on a screening committee," she said.
Those letters will be due by Jan. 17 with the first meeting of the Screening Committee and orientation meeting to take place on Feb. 11.
Having served as a Dedham School Committee member for five years, Briggs said Doe will have big shoes to fill upon her leaving.
"June is going to be very difficult to replace," Briggs said. "She has worked tirelessly on pushing academic excellence and bringing the entire school system up. There were concerns 10 years ago about the academic rigor, that has all been replaced. She really has worked to increase the graduation rate and to increase the four-year post secondary education rate. She has done a phenomenal job; she deeply cares about the students in the schools."
Upcoming Superintendent Search Meetings
Tuesday, Jan. 7
- 9:30 a.m. Administrators meeting – Superintendent’s office
- 10:45 a.m. Town Hall Interviews – at Dedham Town Hall
- 1 p.m. Central Administration Staff, secretaries, cafeteria staff, custodial staff, and maintenance staff - Dedham Middle School Distance Learning Lab
- 2:30-4:30 p.m. Teachers, nurses and paraprofessionals – Dedham Middle School, rolling meeting at the Distance Learning Lab.
Monday, Jan. 13
- 1:30 p.m. Town Residents – open to all community members – Middle School Distance Learning Lab
- 3:30 p.m. Pre-K - Grade 5 Parents - Middle School Distance Learning Lab
- 6 p.m. Dedham Middle school Parents - Middle School Distance Learning Lab
Tuesday, Jan. 14
- 6 p.m. Dedham High Parents - High School Cafeteria
- 7:30 p.m. Town Residents – open to all community members - High School Cafeteria