By Douglas Moser
---- — METHUEN — The School Department hired a retired longtime school business manager to fill that position here until a full-time replacement can be found next year.
Frank Antonelli, who retired in 2010 and has 31 years of school business management experience, will work roughly 15 hours per week starting around Oct. 1. Technically a consultant for the district, he will earn $85 per hour and will step in for former business manager Glenn Fratto, who left in June to accept a similar position at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.
“I chose Frank because of his experience,” said Superintendent Judith Scannell. “He has a very strong background and he has been an interim business manager in other school districts since retiring, so he understands the job as an interim business manager.”
According to his resume, Antonelli served as business manager of Wilmington Public Schools from 1982 to 1985, assistant superintendent for business and treasurer for Greater Lowell Regional Vocational Technical School from 1985 until 2003 and assistant superintendent for business at Billerica Public Schools from 2003 to 2010.
The contract, which the School Committee approved unanimously Monday night, does not set a ceiling on how much Antonelli can be paid, but does set his work week at three days. The number of days can change if Scannell and Antonelli agree, according to the contract.
Scannell said she plans to post a position for a full-time business manager in February, when recruiting prospects will be better. Antonelli’s contract lasts until June 30, though the School Department can terminate the contract earlier with 15 days notice.
“The rate is very reasonable and from what I’ve heard in terms of checking this person out, he was an excellent business manager in the places where he worked before,” said School Committee member Robert Vogler.
Scannell said in an interview this week and in a July 31 memo to the School Committee that she decided,after conversations with John Crafton, the former Methuen school business manager and the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials executive director, to wait until February to search for a permanent replacement because the pool of candidates will be deeper.
Crafton, who resigned from Methuen in 2003 to take the MASBO job, also recommended Antonelli for the interim job.
Scannell hopes to have Antonelli train the new permanent business manager.
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