Three for Chilmark principal
Three finalists for Chilmark School's head of school position will visit the school on May 20 and 21 and undergo public interviews before superintendent of schools James Weiss and the Up-Island Regional School District (UIRSD) committee.
The school's current leader, Diane Gandy, will retire at the end of the school year. Mr. Weiss said the three finalists come from a group of eight semi-finalists and in turn from a pool of about 20 applicants. The finalists include Deborah Hammett of Oak Bluffs, Susan Kluver of New York, and Susan Stevens of Florida.
On Wednesday, Ms. Kluver will visit Chilmark School to meet students, faculty, school committee members, and the community from 8 am to 11:30 am. Ms. Stevens will do the same from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. The UIRSD school committee and Mr. Weiss will interview Ms. Kluver at 5:30 pm and Ms. Stevens at 6:30 pm that evening.
Ms. Hammett's school visit takes place on Thursday from 12 to 2:30 pm and her interview follows at 5:30 pm.
"Ms. Gandy sent letters home to all of the parents, and we invited members of the finance advisory committee and the selectmen, and basically told the whole community that the candidates will be there, and they should feel free to drop in or attend the interviews, whatever they want, and that we would love their input on the decision," Mr. Weiss said.
Following the interviews, Mr. Weiss said his goal is to select the final candidate and offer her the job by May 26.
As the local candidate among the three, Ms. Hammett has a long history as a Vineyard educator. She now teaches third grade at Oak Bluffs School, where she started in 1987. Ms. Hammett also worked as an assistant principal at Tisbury School from 2000 to 2002.
Ms. Kluver is a faculty member at the Bank Street College of Education in New York. She has been serving as interim dean overseeing the college's School for Children and the Family Center for the 2008-09 school year. Ms. Kluver also is familiar with Martha's Vineyard as a Chilmark homeowner.
Ms. Stevens is a special education coordinator and guidance counselor at Bak Middle School of the Arts, a public magnet school in West Palm Beach, Florida. She and her husband John, who has been the principal of Edgartown School since 2007, own a home in Edgartown where they have spent summers for many years with their family.
The candidate chosen will be one of two administrators in the UIRSD's two schools, the other being West Tisbury School.
Although Ms. Gandy has the same responsibilities as West Tisbury School principal Michael Halt, her position has a different title because she works 10 months a year rather than 12.