LONGMEADOW – Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District Superintendent of Schools M. Martin O’Shea and Wolf Swamp Road Elementary School Principal Neil Gile are two of three finalists hoping to become the next leader of Longmeadow Public Schools.
The School Committee released the list of finalists, which also includes Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation of Indiana Associate Superintendent for Strategy and Accountability Catherine Minihan, during its Dec. 14 meeting.
School Committee Chair Janet Robinson later told Reminder Publications the finalists are scheduled to interview with the committee on Dec. 17 at 5 p.m. and it may choose to recommend a new superintendent and offer that individual a contract during the conclusion of the meeting.
“That’s the goal,” she noted. “We discussed that in detail [Dec. 14] and the goal is that we interview, we have healthy discussion and if we all feel comfortable at the end to make a recommendation for the next superintendent, which would be pending contract negotiations. The School Committee did reserve the right to conduct site visits of one, two, or all three candidates depending on how they felt.”
She added contract negotiations would take place during the following weeks between both parties and their respective legal counsels.
“Hopefully, we’ll have everything wrapped up that first week of January,” Robinson said.
Whoever is chosen as the successor of current Superintendent of Schools Marie Doyle, who in June announced her intentions to retire at the end of the 2015-2016 school year, would become the seventh head of the district.
The finalists were chosen after completion of a daylong interview session by the 15-member Superintendent Search Committee, bringing the list of finalists from six down to three, Robinson noted. In total, 47 candidates applied for the position and were vetted by the Search Committee as well as Ray and Associates, an Iowa-based superintendent search firm that has helped the district find qualified contenders for the position.
Robinson said each School Committee member has drafted two interview questions for the finalists, but declined to reveal the nature of the questions prior to the Dec. 17 interviews.
However, she noted general questions such as why each candidate would like to be Longmeadow’s superintendent and whether each finalist has any additional questions for the School Committee would be included at the end of the each interview.
An informal meet and greet with the finalists is also set prior to the interviews for 4 p.m. at Longmeadow High School.
O’Shea did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.