In a unanimous vote, Dr. Debra Livingston was elected Superintendent of Schools, pending her review of the contract terms negotiated after her selection. She has until Friday to decline the offer. Ward 2 School Committeewoman Debra Langton and Ward 11 School Committeeman Jason Cooper were absent during the vote. Langton was present during the morning session, but had to leave prior to the vote. Cooper did not appear.
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, who convinced the Board of School Committee to hire a firm and raise the private sector funds needed to execute a nationwide search commended the the choice. “I am excited to have made one of most important hires in term. Dr. Livingston has great insight to how to take district to different level. She has great skills to communicate with public, students, teachers, principals and staff in the administrative offices. I’m looking forward to her getting started.”
Gatsas said he believed she would be able to build consensus in the board on the decisions that need to be made for the district.
Board Vice Chair David Gelinas of Ward 7 commended the board on the choice of Dr. Livingston, expressing confidence i the choice. He also praised the hard work done by the superintendent search committee, singling out the leadership of Chairman Ted Rokas from ward 5.
Rokas, shared the praise, commending each search committee member on a job well done. “We didn’t settle,” said Rokas proudly. “It feels good to hire Dr. Livingston.” Langton, Ward 8’s Erika Connors, Ward 9’s Arthur Beaudry and Ward 12’s Roger Beauchamp were also on the committee.
Livingston, who is currently superintendent in SAU 60, the Fall Mountain School District which includes the towns of Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Langton and Walpole said she wanted to come to Manchester because of the need for change. “I like a challenge,” she said. She was undaunted by the task of moving from one of New Hampshire’s smallest school districts to it’s largest, most complex. She said she would approach the job from a position of “servant leadership.”
She noted she was impressed by what she saw as a community wide desire to improve education and said that what she saw happening in Manchester’s schools was actually very encouraging.
Gatsas thanked both Dr. Kriner Case of Memphis, TN and Dr. Maureen Ward of Franklin, NH for participating in the process, saying
Be sure to tune in for complete analysis of this choice on Monday morning.