Interview Board Recommends MacDonald as SPED Director

Pamela MacDonald. (Courtesy photograph.)

Pamela MacDonald. (Courtesy photograph.)

Pamela MacDonald is the recommended choice to become special education director for Haverhill Public Schools, succeeding Kyle A. Riley.

MacDonald, the district’s compliance officer hired last year, was the choice of an interview board that met Wednesday. Backed by Superintendent James F. Scully, MacDonald’s appointment will be up to the full School Committee when it meets July 27. If approved, Scully said her appointment would take effect Aug. 1.

“The special education director is probably the most difficult role in the school system because they have to have the sensitivity to recognize the challenges in helping the students they represent,” Scully told WHAV. “She is very caring and very, very sensitive,” he added.

If MacDonald becomes SPED director, she will play a role in choosing a successor for her old job.

The interview board included School Committee President Gail M. Sullivan, Vice President Scott W. Wood Jr., Assistant Superintendent Jared Fulgoni, Business Manager Brian O’Connell, school principals, SPED parent representatives and the bilingual parent liaison. Members interviewed two finalists from a field that began with 20 candidates.

MacDonald is a 1995 graduate of Saint Anselm College. In 1997, after graduating from Boston University with master’s in both social work and education, she worked for Revere Public Schools 15 years. MacDonald became Stoneham Central Middle School’s special education supervisor. She also worked part-time as inclusive concurrent enrollment grant director for Roxbury Community College, where she wrote and established the Gateway Scholars Program.

Riley recently left the post for more money at Whitman-Hanson Regional School District, Whitman, on the south shore.