MANCHESTER, NH–Ward 5 School Committeeman Ted Rokas released the names and biographies of the three finalists in the search for a new Superintendent of Schools.  The candidates showed some surprises.

First, there isn’t “a White guy” in the group.  That ought to make “diversity activists” oh so happy.

Second, two of the finalists are women.

Third, the two women are currently New Hampshire school superintendents in much smaller districts.

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, when asked about the quality of the field would only say he was “confident that Manchester would have a new superintendent this Saturday.”  That’s the day the board will meet to elect the finalist.  After electing the finalist, Gatsas said he would negotiate a contract with the chosen candidate, withing the board’s guidelines, and then release the name.

A community forum with the three will be held on Friday night, June 7th in the auditorium at Memorial High School from 6:30 to 8.

Gatsas is scheduled to meet with each candidate one on one tomorrow for about 30 minutes.

Search Committee Chairman Ted Rokas, who said one of the five semi finalists dropped out of the process on Tuesday, said the remaining group stood head and shoulders above the last field.  “They all have experience with things like redistricting, tax cap budgets, test score improvements and planning initiatives like the ones we’ve got going now,” said Rokas.  He said the difference in the process between this search and the prior one that failed to produce an acceptable candidate made all the difference.  “Doing face to face interviews, rather than talking to people over Skype, was much better,” he said.

The finalists are Dr. Kriner Cash, exiting Superintendent of Memphis City Schools in Tennessee; Dr. Debra Livingston, current Superintendent of Fall Mountain Regional School District in New Hampshire; and Dr. Maureen Ward, current Superintendent of SAU 18, Franklin/Hill, in New Hampshire. We’ve uploaded the biographies supplied by the district of the three candidates and welcome your comments.

For comparison, here’s the link to the biographies of two of the last three finalists.  Both were just White guys, for what that’s worth!

NOTE:  As someone who believes in Dr. Martin Luther King’s wish that his children be judged on the content of their character and not the color of their skin, I really don’t care whether they’re male or female or what their ethnic or racial background is.  That said, I’m totally annoyed with the PC crowd whose primary criticism was the “lack of diversity” in the last round of finalists.  I now note, with irony, the lack of diversity.

Press Release, Finalists

Cash Bio

Livingston Bio

Ward, Bio