Jul 30, 2014
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Steve Dlott is Committee's Choice for Interim Superintendent

The former Westborough superintendent also served in an interim capacity in Hudson.

Steve Dlott is Committee's Choice for Interim Superintendent

The Marlborough School Committee Thursday voted to pursue former Westborough superintendent Steve Dlott to serve as interim schools leader.

Dlott, who has also served as interim superintendent in Hudson, was recommended by two committee members who reviewed resumes along with Mayor Arthur Vigeant.

The vote was unanimous among those present--member Margaret Dwyer was not at the meeeting Thursday called solely for the purpose of advancing the seach for someone to replace . 

Committee members Katherine Hennessy and Michelle Bodin-Hettinger said everyone they spoke to about Dlott gave him high marks as a consensus building and uniter. Since retiring as Westborough's superintendent in 2005, Dlott has held a number of interim positions, including as Hudson's interim superintendent of schools. He most recently served as an interim principal in Webster. 

"It struck me that he was someone who had taken the time to learn what was going on in the district. He had looked at the strategic plan," Hennessey said, adding that his career demonstrated he is "someone who understands the importance of relationships."

While several local candidates were in the mix, Vigeant acknolwledged that he did not want to select anyone who could make political decisions in the city more difficult. "I expect I am going to have to be going back to the City Council to ask for more money and I don't anyone who will be a lightning rod in that situation," he said. 

Dlott was the only candidate named by the committee, other than on Wednesday night. 

"He has the qualities we need right now," Vigeant said. "He's a consensus builder and uniter." 

The committee asked Vigeant to make a salary recommendation to the full comittee and asked Bodin-Hettinger and Hennessy to complete a reference check. Individual committee members will also have a chance to speak with Dlott before the board's next meeting on July 26.

Vigeant said Dlott earned $180,000 a year while serving as interim in Hudson. Pope had been earning $160,000 before he resigned after weeks of turmoil and protests.  

The choice came after some disagreement among the committee about how best to move forward. Since the mayor's office stopped receiving resumes, Hennessy, after speaking with counsel for the city and the head of the Massachusetts Associaiton of School Committees, posted the position in several places with a closing date of July 24. Hennessy will continue to monitor submissions to those postiings.

While the committee eventually arrived at a consensus, the process discussion and the prospect of delaying a decision further led to some testy exchanges.

While committee member Mark Hediger asked about "personality interviews" aimed at establishing compatibility, he also said he did not think a "high perfoming organization" would have individuals going outside a set process to contact individual canndidates. 

That led Vigeant to quip he must a "low performer" because he was ready to move forward and take action.

"You can analyze the hell out of it, I'm trying to get the job done," he said.

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