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Search committee: Approachability is key for next Pinkerton headmaster in Derry

Union Leader Correspondent

February 05. 2013 10:14PM

DERRY - As a search committee begins looking for a new headmaster at Pinkerton Academy, one of the words that comes up among many involved is approachability.

At an open meeting on Tuesday evening, members of the search committee and the public gave their input on the qualities they would like to see in a new headmaster. Mary Anderson, who has been with the school for nearly 40 years and has been the headmaster since 2003, will be retiring at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

Search committee and staff member Lani Buskey has held meetings with students about the qualities they would like to see in the next headmaster.

"The biggest feedback I've gotten from students is that they would like the headmaster to be more visible in all the buildings and the classrooms," said Buskey.

Faculty member John Breda has held meetings with his fellow faculty members as part of the search process.

"The one comment I've gotten most echoes the one made by the students about visibility on campus and in the classroom and the headmaster being a regular part of the community," he said. "The other main thing is the ability to delegate."

Buskey said she has also heard from faculty members who think it would be a good idea for the new headmaster to have a satellite office in a second building on campus to create a greater feeling of an open-door policy.

That feeling of approachability extends throughout the school staff, not just the faculty, according to search committee member Ed Jones.

"They want someone out there who is approachable and acknowledges the hard work they do," said Jones.

Derry Cooperative School District Superintendent Laura Nelson said the new headmaster should have the ability to work collaboratively with the sending school districts.

"I look forward to working with someone who is building a larger school community," said Nelson.

Pinkerton trustee and search committee co-chairman William Nevious said there is a nationwide search for a new headmaster, and candidates must at a minimum meet state requirements for the position.

"The state requirements for certification for a headmaster are equivalent to those for a superintendent, and those guidelines will be followed," said Nevious.

The timeline for the headmaster search has the search committee beginning official advertisements and recruitment efforts this month. The trustees are looking to have interviewed and chosen a headmaster-elect by the end of the current school year.

If a new headmaster has not been selected by the end of the school year, the search will continue into the fall of 2013.

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