ANDOVER — Eighteen candidates are vying to become the next principal of Andover High School and a search is also on for an assistant superintendent.

School Superintendent Marinel McGrath said she hopes to have a permanent high school principal hired by the end of May and a new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction by next month.

The search committee for the high school principal is made up of three administrators, three parents and three teachers. Students will also be involved in the hiring process, McGrath said.

Once finalists are selected they will be interviewed by the search committee and visit Andover. Representatives from the search committee will also visit each of the candidates' current districts.

McGrath said she will conduct final interviews with each finalist.

The person selected for the job will replace interim Principal Thomas Sharkey who was appointed by McGrath after Principal Jonathan Harris stepped down just weeks into the new school year to accept a job in Texas. The new principal is expected to make about $120,000, according to the town's human resources office.

A search is also underway to find a replacement for Susan Nicholson, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. She is leaving to become superintendent in Waltham.

Applications for that job are due Monday, McGrath said.

The salary has also been listed at $120,000. In Andover, Nicholson, who has been in town for four years, has an annual salary of $135,406.

Recently, a new assistant superintendent for finance and administration was also hired by McGrath.

Paul Szymanski, who previously worked with McGrath in Hamilton-Wenham, will take the place of Peter De Roeve, interim school business manager. The position's title has been changed to be more in line with other districts, McGrath said.

Szymanski has served as school business administrator at Billerica Public Schools for the past year. He is expected to start in Andover on July 1 at a salary of $130,000.

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