School Admin Blames Vacation for Delaying Release of Second-in-Command Finalist

Haverhill School Superintendent Margaret Marotta. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill’s school superintendent says complications related to April school vacation led her to delay publicly naming the finalist for the district’s second in command—a decision that runs counter to state law.

Superintendent Margaret Marotta told WHAV by email Saturday the candidate was informed the Friday before school vacation that she is the finalist, but honored a request to withhold her name.

“The person asked that we hold the name publicly—until they had the opportunity to tell their staff in person—as this the candidate is employed in a community within reasonable proximity of Haverhill,” Marotta explained.

Although the name of the sole remaining candidate for the post of assistant superintendent of operations and finance has been brought to the attention of WHAV, the radio station has reluctantly agreed to honor the delay until noon today unless the name becomes public sooner.

The new job is designed to combine the job of business manager with someone to oversee personnel, food service, maintenance and technology. The business manager’s job is currently held by Brian O’Connell. He withdrew from contract renewal negotiations at the end of January after being pressured to step down.

As recently as the fall of 2016, the state supervisor of public records ruled applicants that rise to semi-finalists and up should have no expectation of privacy.

In a case decided in favor of The Enterprise newspaper against the Brockton Police Department, then-Supervisor Shawn A. Williams ruled, “An applicant’s identity becomes progressively less personal as the individual approaches the final stages of the applicant screening process. Therefore, an applicant who reaches the level of a semi-finalist has become elevated to a greater position of public trust and should expect open and public discussion of his candidacy.”

Marotta’s administrative assistant, Andrea Sheehan, told WHAV by email last week, “The name of the candidate is not being released at this time. We will keep you informed as appropriate.”

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