WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield school board huddled in closed session for over an hour Thursday evening to pick one of three firms that submitted proposals to lead the district’s search for a superintendent.

Board members authorized $15,000 to pay the New Jersey School Boards Association to lead the search for an administrator to replace retiring Schools Superintendent Margaret Dolan. The vote was unanimous.

Brendan Galligan said that the School Boards Association will reach out to its sister associations in New York and Pennsylvania and post on national job boards.

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“Our reach will be national, but New Jersey does have some strict licensing rules for superintendents,” Galligan said. “So any candidate for superintendent will likely be from in the northeast region.”

The first outreach, however, will happen in Westfield, Board President Amy Root said.

The firm will meet with the board to identify priorities and then reach out to parent, teacher and other local groups to “get input from the community as to what characteristics and values are important to them,” Root said.

Galligan promised broad outreach.

“Pretty much every stakeholder group in town will get some kind of input into what they would like to see in our next superintendent,” he said.

Last month, Dolan had announced her intent to retire July 1. She had started in Westfield in 1996 as the principal at Franklin Elementary School and in 2007 was made the district’s first woman superintendent after serving as an assistant superintendent for three years.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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