ORLEANS — A new superintendent for the Nauset Regional School District is expected to be announced on Jan. 29 at a 9 a.m. meeting after finalists’ interviews are conducted in public on Thursday, Jan. 27.
Leading up to that, January will be a marathon of meetings, many of them closed to the press and public, during which the search committee will comb through 17 applications to whittle them down to two or three finalists.
To understand the selection process, it helps to get a picture of the bureaucracy that governs a regional school district.
The four district towns — Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans, and Brewster — send children to the district’s schools. Each town has its own elementary school and its own elementary school committee.
The middle and high schools are regional, and one regional school committee governs both of those schools.
The superintendent, who oversees all of these schools, is hired and supervised by yet another entity, the joint school committee. The joint committee includes members of all of the elementary and regional school committees.
A six-member search committee, which includes members from the elementary and regional bodies, is in charge of the meeting marathon ahead.
Following closed meetings on Jan. 4, 5, and 6, the finalists will be selected on Jan. 8, at the end of a five-hour executive session, the last of the closed meetings in the series, said Kathleen Spencer, the consultant hired by the Nauset District to guide the search process.
The finalists will be named publicly after that — as soon as “their viability for and continued interest in the position is confirmed,” Spencer wrote in an email.
Though the public-school superintendent hiring process must be conducted in open session, the Mass. Open Meeting law allows private meetings “to consider or interview applicants for employment or appointment by a preliminary screening committee if the chair declares that an open meeting will have a detrimental effect in obtaining qualified applicants.”
Between Jan. 13 and 18, members of the search committee, which is chaired by retired Orleans Elementary School Principal Gail Briere, will visit the finalists in their current jobs, presumably in schools, for a half day each.
The finalists will visit the Nauset schools between January 20 and 25.
The next meeting, held in open session, will be on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom, during which the search committee members will refine their interview questions and outline the interview process.
On Jan. 27 — the exact time has not been announced — the search committee and the Nauset Joint School Committee will interview the finalists and vote to select a new leader. Interim Supt. Brooke Clenchy has said she is among the 17 applicants and would like the job.
The Independent could not find recordings of past public search committee meetings. Spencer said she too was unable to locate them.