|Pittsfield Committee Selects Interim Superintendent|
|By Joe Durwin, Pittsfield Correspondent|
09:11AM / Tuesday, June 19, 2012
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee voted 6-1 in favor of offering a one-year interim superintendent position to Gordon Noseworthy, one of two candidates interviewed for the position at its meeting last Wednesday.
At Wednesday's interviews, the committee questioned Noseworthy and candidated Basan Nembirkow on how they would be effective on an temporary basis, how they would assist the permanent superintendent search, their role in budget discussions, school building needs issues, and a variety of other subjects effecting the school district. Both candidates possessed some level of experience with local education - Nembirkow recently served as interim superintendent for Lenox schools, and Noseworthy is a former assistant principal of Taconic High School.
Senior committee member Daniel Elias cast the lone dissenting vote, saying that while he was confident that either candidate would be excellent, he favored Nembirkow.
"I think he has more experience in urban districts," said Elias of Nembirkow. "I think he has more experience in Pittsfield."
Katherine Yon said that while she thought Nembirkow had impressive experience with urban districts, she personally felt Noseworthy expressed more "engagement, committment and passion" for the district. Mayor Daniel Bianchi echoed this, saying Noseworthy "offered just a little more" than Nembirkow.
Noseworthy has served on the Massachusetts School Building Authority, he pointed out at his interview, a piece of experience committee members felt might be key as Pittsfield continues to examine its own school building needs.
"I like that he seems to have more of a hands-on approach," said Terry Kinnas, who said he felt Nembirkow might be slightly more inclined toward delegating authority, which could become problematic with a deputy superintendent also new to the system.
Included in Noseworthy's responsibilities, if he accepts the district's offer, will be working with and helping establish a new deputy superintendent, a position the committee decided at its May 30 meeting to offer to N. Tracy Crowe. Crowe currently works as an assistant principal in a Marblehead high school, and is slated to replace Barbara Malkas, who is leaving to become the superintendent of schools in Webster.
Noseworthy was once featured in People magazine, when the Northampton high school he was then principal to had several boys join a previously all-girls field hockey team. He again made national ink in 2010, when as interim superintendent of the North Brookfield school district he was forced to squash an unofficial memo from a teacher banning pencils and pens in one of its schools, in an incident that briefly went viral.
Both candidates for the interim superintendent's job came from among recommendations of retired former superintendents identified by the Massachusetts Association of School Committtees. MASC put forth these candidates after a fast-tracked search this spring for a permanent superintendent failed to yield any desired finalist.