Early this school year, Superintendent Michael Cozort announced that he would be stepping down from his role at Nantucket Public Schools. Serving as the Superintendent of schools for nine years, Cozort has left a lasting impression on NPS and the Nantucket community.
In stepping down, Cozort has left big shoes to fill, and it is the responsibility of the Superintendent Search Committee to fill those shoes. With the advertised list of duties coming in just short of 250 words, the scope of the responsibilities of the Superintendent are evidently numerous. Being the proverbial top dog of NHS, the Superintendent is responsible for governing all of the divisions of the school, and working with the School Committee to formulate district policy. Such a high ranking position requires a very specific set of skills to adequately fulfill the role. To be well suited for the job, one should also have central office experience, a comprehensive understanding of the process of budget development, a managerial background, and strong communication skills. The new Superintendent must also have a Master’s degree, ten years of experience in education, and be licensed as a superintendent in Massachusetts. Though these requirements surely narrow the pool of suitable applicants, there is still a lengthy process to be undertaken to determine who will become the next Superintendent of Nantucket Public Schools. While the expensive housing on Nantucket can often deter applicants, the advertisement of a “Competitive Salary & Excellent Benefits” promise to attract potential from far and wide.
The Superintendent Search Committee is made up of fourteen influential Nantucketers. These fourteen adults: Daniel Bartlett, Kelly Ann Cooney, Jennifer Iller, Pamela James, Timothy Lepore, Tracy Mailloux, Page Martineau, Evemarie McNeil, Gillean Myers, Logan O’Connor, Diane O’Neil, Thomas Richards, Tracy Roberts and Alexandra Rosenberg have teamed up with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) to undertake the extensive search process of the selection of the new Superintendent. The School Committee held five focus groups during the month of November in order to get a better sense of what qualities are important in a Superintendent. These focus groups allowed different groups who would be affected by the Superintendent selection process, including teachers, administration, parents, students, and the general public, to discuss their expectations with the School Committee.
All applications are due printed or electronically submitted by December 15th, and with feedback from the forums in mind, MASC and the Superintendent Search Committee will review applications over the next couple of months to find the best fit for NHS.
During his years at NHS, Mr. Cozort has formed a strong relationship with the student body, faculty, and the community as a whole. Last year’s School Committee Student Representative, Natalie Gammons reflected on her time at NHS saying,“Mr. Cozort was a lot more than just a Superintendent to these schools. He built relationships with the students, the high school students in particular, that really made a difference to a lot of kids.” Though Mr. Cozort will be sorely missed, with new administration on the horizon, there is new potential for the growth and success of Nantucket Public Schools.
By Henry Dupont