While the committee has yet to discuss what course of action to take, School Committee chair Bethany Furtado imagines the department will post the position of superintendent that has been filled by Richard D’Agostino since Peter Horoschak was abruptly placed on administrative leave in September.
Furtado said yesterday that she believes the topic of how to fill the department’s top post will come up at tonight’s meeting, the first since the inauguration of at-large committee members Jennifer T. Ahearn and Karen Bachus.
From a personal standpoint, Furtado said she would like to find someone who has knowledge of the district and is an “excellent communicator” with the faculty and staff as well as the city administration.
“When it comes to the district, we need someone in the Robert J. Shapiro vein,” she said referring to the late superintendent who retired in 2007 after serving Warwick schools for 50 years. Shapiro died last year.
Horoschak, who came to Warwick after serving as superintendent in six other districts across the country, succeeded Shapiro and was brought aboard with a three-year contract. His contract was renewed in 2010 for another three years. Then, without explanation or, according to him, a review of his performance, Horoschak was placed on paid administrative leave. Late last month, the School Committee and Horoschak jointly announced an agreement and Horoschak was retiring. The parties mutually agreed not to release the terms of the agreement.
Furtado said D’Agostino, who was the director of special education before becoming acting superintendent, has been doing a good job.
“I believe things are moving in a forward direction,” she said. Furtado hopes to find a superintendent who “can hit the ground running” and be in place by April.
Asked by email what he thought the committee should do at this point, Mayor Scott Avedisian responded, “I hope that they will allow us a cooling down period before they decide on a new one [superintendent]. Dr. D'Agostino is doing a good job in getting rid of the backlog of unanswered issues. That is encouraging.”
Ahearn said last week that she would push to have the position advertised so that the committee has a wide selection of candidates from which to choose.