MANCHESTER — City school board members reviewed details of a transition plan Monday night, designed to ensure “leadership, consistency and stability” for students until a new superintendent of schools is hired.
Manchester Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bolgen Vargas submitted his resignation in January, citing personal and professional reasons. His last day with the district is scheduled for April 30.
The plan outlined Monday creates an ‘Interim Co-Superintendent’ model with current assistant superintendents Amy Allen and Jennifer Gillis taking on the duties of co-superintendents until a new full-time leader is hired for the district.
“The co-superintendent model is being proposed to provide leadership, consistency and stability for our students, staff and family,” explains a memo to school board members from district staff. “Given this structure is new for our district we have provided a detailed accounting of the structure and systems of support for our coming transition of leadership.”
The plan lays out additional duties for both Allen and Gillis from May until the end of June, such as meeting with principals, school visits, transportation and redistricting implementation.
“It divvies up the work that Dr. Vargas would be doing among the two co-superintendents,” said school board vice chair Art Beaudry.
A diagram showing the distribution of duties accompanies this story online at unionleader.com.
In terms of supervision, schools across the district will also be divided up between the two.
According to the memo, the following schools will fall under the supervision of Gillis — Bakersville, Beech Street, Highland Goffe’s Falls, and Jewett elementary schools; Hillside, McLaughlin and Southside middle schools; Central and Memorial high schools; and MST.
The following schools fall under the supervision of Allen — West High School; Middle School at Parkside; and Gossler Park, Green Acres, Hallsville, Northwest, Parker Varney, Smyth Road, Webster and Wilson elementary schools.
The memo shows McDonough and Weston elementary schools falling under the supervision of Sherri Nichols, the executive director of the district’s Innovation Zone.
School board members took time at Monday’s meeting to recognize Dr. Vargas for his efforts on behalf of the Manchester school district over the last three years.
“Dr. Vargas has led this school district by example,” said Beaudry. “From the first day we hired him his mantra has been ‘what’s best for the kids.’”
Vargas thanked board members, district staff, teachers and the community at large for their kind words.
“This is a great district, with great promise,” said Vargas. “I’m going away, but I’m going to be thinking about you and I wish you the greatest success. Remember what I always told you — together anything is possible.”
Mayor Joyce Craig read a resolution extending the city’s best wishes for Vargas in all his future endeavors.
A timetable released last month by the consulting firm heading up the search for the next leader of the Manchester school district shows officials hope to select finalists by early May, and vote on a new superintendent by May 16 and on the job by July 1.
The firm McPherson & Jacobson LLC out of Omaha, Neb., has been hired as consultants to oversee the superintendent search.
According to a job posting that appeared online this week, Board of School Committee members hope to have a new superintendent in place and ready to oversee a district with an enrollment of 13,803 students by July 1.
According to the posting, the candidate must “possess the thick skin and backbone to make decisions in the best interests of students and the Manchester School District.”
The job posting lists the closing date to receive applications as April 18, with the school board scheduled to select finalists to interview on May 6.
Interviews with school board members are tentatively slated to be held May 16, with a vote on the selection of a new superintendent scheduled for that same day.