SPED Candidate Withdraws, Suggests Committee Back Superintendent

Haverhill School Superintendent James F. Scully.

The “political” process surrounding the appointment of Haverhill’s permanent special education (SPED) director has taken its first casualty.

Melissa J. Deyo-Silvia of Somerset has withdrawn her name from consideration as one of three finalists. Remaining candidates are current interim SPED director Kyle A. Riley of Fall River and retired Warwick, R. I., Superintendent of Schools Richard D. D’Agostino. Deyo-Silvia told WHAV Friday her decision came down to support for Riley from Haverhill Superintendent James F. Scully and, what she called, a “derogatory article” regarding the candidacies of  D’Agostino and of Riley, whom she called “a colleague of mine for years.”

“For me it was mostly the fact the superintendent was endorsing Kyle Riley the current interim director. So immediately I was the second choice which was not ideal,” Deyo-Silvia said.

She also cited a “clear division” between Scully and “part of the school committee” on a final choice for a SPED director.

“If the superintendent is endorsing Kyle then the school committee should support his endorsement,” Deyo-Silvia added. “It makes it difficult to move any initiative forward if the superintendent is not fully supported by the school committee.”

At Thursday night’s school committee meeting, no decision was made on hiring any of the candidates who were publicly interviewed during a special session Monday. The process of “full background investigations” is incomplete, sources said.

Several parents also spoke out during the public participation portion of Thursday’s committee meeting about, among other things, “taking out politics” from the selection process.

3 thoughts on “SPED Candidate Withdraws, Suggests Committee Back Superintendent

  1. Let’s not forget two other things, the former councilor only won because the media refused to print the truth about him and he jumped on Sullivan’s back for votes who had the Mayor’s help.

  2. Politics and a divided school committee.. Deyo-Silvia saw the writing on the wall and left town. Smart decision…
    School committee is a joke. I wonder if they didn’t receive benefits if they’d stay and continue their personal antics. Two side here, Magloichetti can’t get farther than this elected office and he recruits a former city councilor to run. Let’s not forget the others he recruited who didn’t have a chance but they bit and put their name out there. Sullivan is intelligent but I must ask why she has returned to Haverhill if she was that good elsewhere.

  3. After a nation wide search, they will hire who they wanted hire in the first place. Once again Haverhill’s 1940’s style politics taints the process. Like we had leprosy, people will stay away as word keeps getting out how Haverhill does business. Just ask the last couple of movie productions of how they were treated by our own Movie star Mayor.