By Shawn Regan
---- — HAVERHILL — The School Committee will hold a special meeting tomorrow morning to interview and possibly hire a candidate for one of the district’s most important positions — a $100,000 per year post.
At a recent meeting, Superintendent James Scully pushed the School Committee to let him hire Theresa Senio of Delaware to be Haverhill’s special education director.
But the committee members agreed they would not approve the hire until they had a chance to meet and interview Senio, which is scheduled to happen at 8 a.m. tomorrow in the school administrative offices at City Hall.
Senio is an administrative superintendent for the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families— a position she has held since 2004, according to her resume. She would replace Maury Covino, who retired at the end of the last school year after 22 years with the Haverhill district.
The special education director is a senior position and comes with an annual salary close to $100,000, subject to contract negotiations, Scully said.
Covino made about $110,000 in his last year here, Scully said.
Scully said he wants the School Committee to approve Senio’s hiring at tomorrow’s meeting.
“She is viable in other places that are looking for a SPED director and I don’t want to lose her,” Scully said of Senio. “I need to have someone in this critical position who has experience and that I can trust and have confidence in.”
The superintendent said he has been using Covino as a paid consultant until his replacement is in place.
“We have posted the position three times, but it’s been very hard to find a qualified candidate,” Scully said. “Special education in an ongoing and extremely challenging and complicated affair, in which we are under many state mandates and requirements. ...We have been using Maury as a consultant because he has history here. He knows the children and the families who need the services.”
Scully said a pool of eight to 10 applicants for the special education director job was reduced by administrators to two finalists.
The finalists were interviewed by a committee that included administrators and parents of Haverhill special education students.
The committee’s selection of Senio was unanimous, Scully said.
Although Senio has lived in Delaware for several years, Scully said she is from Lowell and wants to return to the area. Senio is certified to be a special education administrator in Massachusetts, Scully said.
According to Senio’s resume, she is a past executive director of KellCole Academy in Bradford, N.H., a small private school for children with severe learning disabilities.
She was also a special education director from 1997 to 2002 at a three-town school district based in Claremont, N.H.