Scully: ‘Replace Me With Someone Who Will Commit to Stay a While’

The School Committee intends to hire the Massachusetts Association of School Committees to help find Haverhill’s next superintendent.

After eight years at the helm of the school department Superintendent James F. Scully will retire at the end of this school year.

Committee President Gail Sullivan said Scully’s early notice gives the city the time and opportunity for an extensive search to find his replacement.

The committee unanimously agreed to hire the MASC.

“This is a monumental decision and we should use every resource that’s available to us,” said committee member Sven A. Amirian.

MASC will interview community members to find out what the public sees as the most important qualities in a new superintendent, Sullivan said.

“I want to hear from teachers, administrators, members of the community and students,” Amirian said.

Scully urged the committee to make it a priority to find someone who won’t move on after a year or two.

“This school department deserves a superintendent who’s going to stick,” Scully said. “You should get someone who’s going to make a commitment.”

By the end of the day on Thursday, more than 80 superintendents had given notice to their communities of their intentions to resign or retire, Scully said. By the end of the school year, the number could near 100, he said.

The competition for the best candidates will be intense.

“There is a scarcity of highly qualified superintendents, so we’re going to have to look far and wide,” said committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti. “This is a serious decision that’s going to have a substantial impact.”

Committee member Shaun P. Toohey, who declined to seek re-election to his seat and will leave the board at the end of December, wondered whether the search should be put on hold until January to allow the newly elected members to be involved from the start.

Three School Committee seats will be filled in November. Members Maura Ryan-Ciardiello and Magliocchetti are seeking re-election. Three challengers -- Katrina Hobbs Everett, Richard E. Smyth and Richard Rosa -- also are on the ballot.

MASC Field Representative Michael Gilbert

Sullivan said the MASC field representative working with the city, Michael Gilbert of Salisbury, recommended starting the search as soon as possible. Gilbert has worked on a number of superintendent searches in Massachusetts. He is familiar with Haverhill, having served on the Whittier Vo-Tech School Committee. He is a license commissioner in Salisbury.

Sullivan agreed that the committee as it stands after inauguration day in January should be the one to make the final decision, but suggested allowing MASC to begin its community interview and outreach process “sooner rather than later.”

Mayor James J. Fiorentini praised Scully’s longevity with the city. Scully served 13 years, five as principal at the Albert B. Consentino School before his eight years as superintendent.

“Thanks for lending stability to the school department,” Fiorentini said. “It’s going to be a sad day when you retire.”


8 thoughts on “Scully: ‘Replace Me With Someone Who Will Commit to Stay a While’

  1. I find it comical that he wishes to be replaced by someone who will stay longterm…Look at the past few years in Haverhill schools and we see that all the educators in top position have left after less than a yea or two. So what she saying..If Scully cared about Haverhill he would have left a system that supported educators staying beyond a year. Shame on him.

    • Sue, sorry, I think you have it all wrong. Superintendents don’t pass budgets and decide school funding. They have to work with what they’re given. The fact that teachers and administrators leave Haverhill for other districts willing to pay them more is only natural. Where Scully comes in is that he’s set standards and expectations for teachers/administrators which has increased their skill set and made them very marketable in the job market. The fact that teachers/adminstrators leave and easily obtain jobs elsewhere is a personal benefit they obtained working under Scully. If teachers/administrators wanted out but no other school system wanted them, that would be the telling sign of the standards set for them by Scully. Haverhill has lost top people who go on to take superintendent jobs in other systems. That’s an indicator of the mentoring they received under Scully. These teachers/administrators should be thanking Scully for increasing their personal worth in the job market.

  2. Thanks Mr.Scully we citizens wants you to stay. Let’s be honest. He’s leaving because of Gail Sullivan. Gail is an angry person who thinks she is more special than she really is. Look, I know your jealous of Jim Scully, you never made it in a city. You were an interim superintendent in a district with a thousand kids. Your serving on the committee to get enough years to collect a pension in Mass. Your game has been exposed and your husband won’t be able save you. Thanks for ruining a School System you have never had anything to do with during the 7 years of your life because you wanna feel important and special. Go away!

  3. Eight years ago when Scully was recruited to be sup’t he was already retired and collecting a pension…I believe it was $90/yr. When he took the sup’t job “he” made the personal decision to stop taking his pension…something he was not required to do. That decision personally cost him $720,000.00!! When have you EVER seen someone in the public sector do this? Most public sector hacks retire and then get a new job so they can line their pockets with two incomes. This man is as honorable as they come.

    Mr. Scully, thank you for all that you’ve done for the students of Haverhill!! Best of luck….

  4. Sorry to hear that Mr. Scully is leaving . He has performed exceptionally well and will be missed. It will be difficult to replace him as there most likely aren’t any candidates with his experience and background. He has done an admirable job in his efforts to keep the city’s school system moving ahead in view of the system’s budgetary problems. I had dealt with MASC as well as other school committee organizations for more that 14 years as chairperson of the school committee at Essex Agricultural and Technical High School and find that MASC is an excellent way to begin the search.

    A good addition to the incoming school committee would be the election of Richard Rosa to the board. Mr. Rosa is a very caring , meticulous and thoughtful individual and is definitely non political. He will serve the best interest of the city and our children an educational system well .

    Thank you Mr. Scully for all that you have done for us!!!