Local News

RNESU superintendent search comes up empty

By Angelo Lynn

The search for a new superintendent at RNESU to replace retiring Supt. Jeanné Collins will take a hiatus of several weeks after the preferred candidate in an initial search declined RNESU’s offer.

The Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union School Board had offered the superintendent position to Zach McLaughlin earlier this month, but Dr. McLaughlin declined the position to take another position.

Board chair Laurie Bertrand said the board wants to pursue a thoughtful and deliberate process in its choice of a new superintendent and to that end will put the search on hiatus until after a new board meets following Town Meeting Day. Bertrand said it was likely that the new board would form a new search committee at its March 23 meeting and “start anew.”

“We’re back at square one, really,” Bertrand said in a telephone interview. “I think we still have some time. We’ll have three months this spring and hopefully we can have more of the process be in-person and not always remote.”

The school district community was to have met the three superintendent candidates in a virtual forum, with the candidates touring the schools in person and an in-person public meeting.

Bertrand explained that of the three candidates who were finalists, one withdrew ahead of the virtual forum because she accepted a position at Washington Central. The other withdrew after she learned the position was offered to McLaughlin. That candidate would still be in the running, Bertrand said, but would be required to reapply in the new search process.

Bertrand explained that the board had attempted to get a jump on the superintendent search process and get it done well before a new board was established at Town Meeting, but since that did not happen the next best step was to delay until after the new board is established and then start anew.

Bertrand added  the public would likely be involved in the search process much as in this past search process.

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