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Manchester school board fails to pick superintendent

March 27. 2013 2:08PM

MANCHESTER - The school board failed Tuesday night to choose a new school superintendent, the Union Leader has learned.

"With regards to the Manchester School District's search for a new superintendent, the Board of School Committee will continue to search for Dr. Brennan's replacement," said a statement from Ward 5 school board member Ted Rokas, chair of the superintendent search committee.

"Last evening the board met with the finalists and we were unable to gather consensus. At this point, we are going to revisit our position paper, review the feedback from the various community groups and stakeholders, and start over," he said.

"The Board of School Committee, as a whole, has come to a common understanding that this is the most important position in this city," he said.

"We are committed to the process and committed to getting it right. Simply put, we are unwilling to settle for anything less than the very best. We will work with the search firm the committee has engaged to find the right fit for the District," he said.

"I would like to state publicly that all of the gentlemen we interviewed were competent and brought something new and different to the table. This decision is by no means a reflection on them personally," Rokas said.

Board members interviewed the three finalists behind closed doors Tuesday evening but didn't announce a choice. Shouts could be heard from the hallway outside the committee's meeting room toward the end of the meeting.

Board members wouldn't discuss who might replace Superintendent Thomas Brennan.

The three finalists were Geoffrey Gordon, former superintendent of Port Washington, N.Y.; Mark Toback, superintendent of schools in Hoboken, N.J.; and Vincent Cotter, retired superintendent of the Colonial School District in Pennsylvania.

The board has final say on who will run the district of approximately 15,400 students starting this summer, when Brennan leaves his job after about four years.

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