EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 14, 2012

School officials spar over $85K position

Is latest school pay issue to spark debate


“I thought we could spend the money better elsewhere,” the mayor said.

Scully said a School Department clerk has been performing the human resources job, but that has led to many mistakes and problems.

“This person was helping out, but we need a professional with human resources expertise,” Scully said.

Scully said he considered adding a full-time position to over school personnel issues, but decided the district can get by with part-time help instead. The new person will also be responsible for a program for students with learning disabilities, making him or her a full-time administrator. This program is for students whose learning deficiencies aren’t severe enough for them to qualify for special education services, Scully said. He said there are about 800 of those students.

The superintendent said the new administrator will be the first one added to the Central School Department Office since he took over almost three years ago. During that span, three Central Office administrative positions have been cut — two assistant superintendents and a technology director, Scully said.

Over the same period, however, two more assistant principals have been added — one at the high school and one at Consentino School, in addition to a supervisor of the English language learners program that was added at the direction of the state, Scully said.

Joining the mayor in voting against the new position were School Committee members Scott Wood and Shaun Toohey. Voting in favor were members Paul Magliocchetti, Raymond Sierpina, Joseph Bevilacqua and Susan Danehy.

Bevilacqua said he supported the position, in part, because it was recommended by City Solicitor William Cox.

“The schools have by far the most employees of any department and deal with increasingly complex legal issues on a daily basis,” Bevilacqua said. “We need someone with expertise in human resources.”

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