David Ryan, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Manchester, is one of the two finalists for the position. (MELISSA PROULX/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)
Two finalists left in search for co-superintendent position in SAU 53
PEMBROKE — Two candidates remain for the new SAU 53 co-superintendent position.
David Ryan, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Manchester and Chris Pratt, superintendent of the Windham Southwest Supervisory Union in Wilmington, Vt., are the finalists for the position.
The two men met with about a dozen community members at a public forum Wednesday where they fielded questions.
The full SAU 53 board was to meet Thursday night for final interviews with Ryan and Pratt in non-pubic session.
A decision is expected by May 1, officials said.
Whoever is hired will be responsible for supervising education in Allenstown, Chichester and Epsom, which together have four schools serving 1,000 students.
The other towns in the district – Pembroke and Deerfield – are handled by the other SAU 53 superintendent, Patty Sherman.
The new hire will replace Dr. Gail Paludi, who will be retiring in June and taking a part-time superintendent position in Goshen.
Salary for the SAU 53 position will be based on experience.
Ryan said he is interested in the position because the district is committed to students’ best interests.
“I have been fortunate in my career to work in communities where this is the norm,” he said, “and I hope to be able to continue that trend, specifically learning and working with the professionals, students, and families in Epsom, Chichester, and Allenstown,” he said
Prior to taking his current Manchester job four years ago, Ryan was principal of Nashua High School North for seven years and an assistant principal at Manchester’s Central High School, starting there in 2000.
He’s also taught middle school, high school and college and currently works as an adjunct professor in the graduate-level Education Program at Southern New Hampshire University.
Pratt said he was attracted him to the position for the opportunity to work alongside Sherman to best serve the community.
“It’s very unique situation,” he said. “For me, I love working with people.”
Pratt has been superintendent in Wilmington for three years. He served as a language arts and special education teacher at Landmark School in Beverly, Mass. from 1994 to 1999, then as dean of students at Boston College High School in Boston, Mass. until 2001.
He then worked as a special education and English teacher at Bridgewater-Raynham Middle School in Bridgewater, Mass., until 2004 and as assistant principal of Brattleboro Union High School in Brattleboro, Vt. until 2011 before becoming principal of NewBrook Elementary School in Newfane, Vt.
Both candidates said being visible in the schools is a key priority.