EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 13, 2014

School leader aims to leave

Haverhill assistant superintendent a finalist for Ayer job

HAVERHILL — The School Department’s revolving door is in danger of spinning again.

If it happens, Haverhill will continue a trend of losing top school administrators to other communities.

Assistant Superintendent Mary Malone is one of four finalists for the job of superintendent of the Ayer Shirley Regional School District, which serves about 1,700 students — one fourth of Haverhill’s student population.

Last week, Haverhill school officials announced that Nettle Middle School Principal Michael Rossi has agreed to become the next principal of Marshall Middle School in Billerica. Haverhill Superintendent James Scully said Rossi will finish the school year at Nettle and start his new job in the summer.

On Tuesday, consultant Mike Gilbert announced the names of the four Ayer Shirley Regional School District finalists during a brief School Committee meeting in Shirley. Malone was one of them.

Gilbert said current Superintendent Carl Mock is retiring and his contract ends June 30. Gilbert said Mock has been superintendent since the district became a regional district three years ago.

The towns of Ayer and Shirley are just northwest of Littleton and off Interstate 495.

Gilbert said the next step in the selection process is site visits to the candidates’ districts next week. The following week, each candidate will spend one day meeting staff, parents and students. Community open house events are part of the process along with a series of public interviews by the School Committee. Gilbert said a new superintendent could be named shortly after the final public interview scheduled for March 28.

Malone, a lifelong resident of Haverhill, said has worked as a teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal, principal, and currently assistant superintendent.

“I love what I do in Haverhill and I’m passionate about it, but I would like to become a superintendent,” she said.

Scully called Malone a “hard working, focused and driven educator.”

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