By Hiroko Sato

MediaNews

GROTON -- The School Committee is encouraging residents to get involved in the process of hiring the next district leader.

The Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee has begun accepting nominations for the Superintendent Candidates Screening Committee. The 15-member group will be tasked with recommending final candidates for the permanent position vacated by former Superintendent Joseph Mastrocola. Mastrocola took a similar position in Peabody in July. The panel is expected to include five residents, including two parents. Interested individuals may nominate themselves or others to the volunteer positions by Friday.

Residents may attend the upcoming public forum to provide input on candidates' selection criteria. The forum will be held inside the Performing Arts Center at Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School on Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. The event is expected to last about one to 1 1/2 hours.

Applicants for the Screening Committee must confirm their availability to all scheduled meetings by that deadline. The committee is expected to meet on Dec. 8, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and Jan. 9. All December meetings will start at 5 p.m. except for all-day Saturday sessions, Dec. 8 and Dec. 22. The Jan. 9 meeting will be from 7:15-7:45 p.m.

The Screening Committee will include two parents, a senior resident, one "at-large" resident from Groton and another from Dunstable, two teachers, two district senior administrators, a member of the district support staff, a Groton selectman and a Dunstable selectman or their representatives, two representing educational-support organizations in the district, a member of the Student Advisory Council and a member of the Special Education Parent Advisory Council. School Committee member Leslie Lathrop will serve as nonvoting chair of the Screening Committee.

The School Committee hired the New England School Development Council to assist in the search process. School Committee member James Frey said the position has been advertised on NESDC's website for about a month, but did not know how many candidates have applied so far as all resumes are being submitted to NESDC.

Those interested in serving on the Screening Committee should contact Frey at jfrey@gdrsd.org or 978-649-8622, or Jeanne Mitchell, director of human resources for the School District, at jmitchell@gdrsd.org or 978-448-5505, ext. 217.