HARVARD -- It looks like Bromfield Principal James O'Shea will not be leaving Harvard for Greenfield, as the Greenfield School Committee voted Jordana Harper-Ewert as its new superintendent last Wednesday night.
The months-long search process began with 11 candidates and was narrowed down to four finalists, including O'Shea and Harper-Ewert, a chief schools officer in the superintendent's cabinet at Springfield Public Schools.
When two finalists dropped out, only O'Shea and Harper-Ewert were vying for the superintendent position left open by retiring Superintendent Susan Hollins.
John Lunt of the Greenfield School Committee said the group felt both candidates were well qualified.
"Everyone liked Mr. O'Shea, but we just thought Ms. Harper-Ewert's skill set was better for what we needed out here in Greenfield," he said. This includes broader administrative experience, including administrative experience managing principals, he said.
"She had spent longer in administrative capacities and that was important for us," he said.
But the committee still thought O'Shea was very skilled, Lunt said.
"I'm sure he will make an excellent superintendent for a school district," he said.
O'Shea has spent eight years as Bromfield's principal, coming over from North Middlesex Regional High School, where he worked as dean of students, assistant principal and principal for seven years. He was also one of four finalists for the North Middlesex Regional School District superintendent search in 2012.
The decision spares Harvard the stress of finding a new principal in a time Superintendent Joe Connelly had called inopportune. Most high school principal searches, he told the Harvard Hillside last week, are already completed at this point in the year.
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