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School Committee narrows superintendent search to four names

Date: 4/19/2011

April 20, 2011

By Debbie Gardner

Assistant Editor

WESTFIELD — The Westfield School Committee narrowed down the field of potential candidates for superintendent of the Westfield School District from seven to four following its April 11 meeting.

School Committee vice-chairman Mary Beth Ogulewicz Sacco confirmed the decisions took place during an executive session. The names were released on April 15.

The short list of finalists to replace School Superintendent Shirley Alvira, who will retire at the end of this school year, includes Ronald Rix, the current principal of the city's South Middle School.

Other candidates for the position are Dr. Susan Scallion, a principal in the Napa, Calif., United School District; Dr. Maureen Bingham, an assistant superintendent of Schools in Swampscott; and Melodie Goodwin, director of curriculum for the North Adams Public School District.

Information provided by the School Committee indicates Rix, Bingham and Goodwin are all licensed to serve as a superintendent/assistant superintendent in Massachusetts. Scallion is licensed as a superintendent/assistant superintendent in California, a principal/assistant principal in Massachusetts and is also eligible to be licensed as a superintendent/assistant superintendent in the state.

Scallion served as a teacher, coach and principal in Massachusetts for six years before relocating to Napa, Calif., in 2008. She holds a bachelor of science degree from Worcester State College, a master's degree in education from Bridgwater State College, a certificate of advanced graduate studies from Harvard University and an doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts (UMass), Amherst.

Rix has served as a teacher in Westfield, an assistant principal since 1996 and principal since 1999. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Springfield College and and a master's degree in education from Westfield State University.

Bingham has been an assistant superintendent responsible for student and instructional services in Swampscott since 2006, and served as interim superintendent prior to that. She holds a bachelor of arts degree, master's degree in education and a doctorate degree in education, all from UMass Amherst.

Goodwin has been director of curriculum in North Adams since July 2005. She holds a bachelor's of arts degree from Sweet Briar College in Va., and a master's degree in education from the University of North Carolina.

Interviews are scheduled with the candidates April 25, 26, 27 and 28. The locations have not yet been announced, but the meetings will be open to the public. The School Committee has set a hiring salary of between $130,00 and $165,00, based upon experience, for the position.

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