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February 26, 2013

School superintendent won't release resumes

METHUEN — The School Department has denied a public records request by The Eagle-Tribune for application and resume documents for several employees and job candidates.

The request, submitted on Jan. 15 and Jan. 16, asked for the resumes and application packets of two employees who were hired over the summer, high school associate principal Kristen Thomas, and Erin Prindle, a program assistant at Marsh Grammar School, the resumes and packets of the other candidates for those positions, and the job postings for those slots and two high school teaching positions.

In response to that request, the School Department provided the appointment letters for Thomas and Prindle, the candidates interviewed for the associate principal position, and those two job postings. Job postings also were provided for the two high school teachers, Stephanie Chaisson and Meaghann Jackson.

No applications or resumes were provided.

Superintendent Judith Scannell said in an email that the School Department refused to provide those documents because they are personnel documents exempt from the Massachusetts public records law.

Last month, the School Department provided resumes and application packets for Chaisson and the other candidates for her position as a high school social studies teacher. Those resumes and applications showed that two candidates had earned master’s degrees and had prior high school teaching experience, while Chaisson, the younger sister of School Committee vice-chairman Evan Chaisson, had graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in May 2012.

Scannell said in an email that she should not have provided copies of those documents to The Eagle-Tribune.

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