SAU 21 Board Offers School Head Job to Sole Candidate
Sullivan Current Superintendent in Middleborough, Mass.
By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Friday, May 7, 2010
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online]
HAMPTON -- The SAU 21 Joint Board only had one candidate for school superintendent to interview Wednesday night, but that was all they needed.
The 28-member joint board voted unanimously May 5 to offer the position to Robert Sullivan, current superintendent of schools in Middleborough, Mass.
"I want to work for this district," Sullivan told the Joint Board. "I believe I have the experience and leadership you need to help you in this exciting time."
Prior to his interview, Sullivan toured the schools in all of the five towns that make up SAU 21 and said he liked what he saw.
"You can tell that everyone has a love for doing what they are doing," he said.
Sullivan was one of three finalists selected to possibly replace Superintendent James Gaylord, who is retiring at the end of this school year.
The other two finalists subsequently withdrew their candidacies.
Winnacunnet School Board member Dick Goodman, who made the motion Wednesday night to hire Sullivan, said he is a perfect fit for SAU 21.
"He has an outstanding record in Middleborough, Mass., and he's very enthused to be coming to SAU 21," Goodman said. "He has many, many skills and I think he will do an outstanding job as our new superintendent."
While he has never worked for a multi-district SAU, Sullivan said he is up for the challenge as well as aiding Hampton in the withdrawal process.
Hampton will be leaving the SAU 21 starting July 1, 2011, to establish its own SAU 90.
Sullivan has 35 years of experience in education. He's been superintendent in Middleborough for six years.
Prior to that, he was assistant superintendent at that district for five years and was a teacher and supervisor at Middleborough and Quincy, Mass., schools for 13 years.
His education includes a Ph.D in education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and a master's in education and bachelor of science degree from Bridgewater State College.
A subcommittee of the joint board will meet with Sullivan next week to begin contract negotiations with the goal of finalizing one at their May 13 meeting.
This was the second search undertaken by the Joint Board to replace Gaylord.
The first was unsuccessful after Mark Mason — board members' number one choice — decided not to take the job. Mason, instead, notified the board that he was taking the superintendent's job in Montpelier, Vt., on Jan. 27, indicating he did not believe he could succeed in an environment that meant interacting with six different school boards.
SAU 21 is made up of six school districts covering the communities of Hampton, Hampton Falls, North Hampton, Seabrook, South Hampton, as well as Winnacunnet High School, which serves the first four of these communities.