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WWSU interim superintendent search narrowed to two

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03/13/2008

There are two finalist candidates for the interim superintendent position for the 2008-2009 school year. They are Gail Conley and Dick Moser.

Gail Conley is currently serving as the interim superintendent in the Barre Supervisory Union. He has served as superintendent of schools for the Chittenden East SU from 1994 to 2005, and prior to that was a superintendent, principal and teacher in Illinois.

Dick Moser was the superintendent of schools in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, from 1990 to 2007. He was also the superintendent of schools in the Washington West SU from 1986 to 1990. Prior to that, he served as a principal and teacher in Missouri and Pennsylvania.

Both candidates will be visiting the WWSU on March 18 meeting with administrators, teachers and community members at 4 p.m. The public is welcome to attend the 4 p.m. meeting.

The WWSU board will be interviewing finalists in executive session at 5:30 p.m.

Current superintendent Bob McNamara is resigning at the end of this school year in June. The Washington West Supervisory Union board held one round of interviews with prospective candidates but did not hire anyone, leading to a search for an interim superintendent.

Moser's tenure at WWSU marked by Altman case 

When Dick Moser was superintendent at WWSU from mid 1986 to 1990, he was involved in a protracted legal battle against a Harwood Union teacher and the teachers’ union.
In October 1987 Moser first suspended, then fired history teacher Bill Altman, sparking a student strike. At issue was the charge that Altman shared a parent’s letter criticizing his teaching with a colleague and a student.

After the suspension, the Harwood board voted to dismiss Altman. Altman challenged the board’s right to dismiss him and sued the board. An independent arbitrator upheld the original suspension but ordered Altman reinstated with back pay. The school board appealed that decision to Superior Court where the decision was upheld and Altman returned to work, with $60,000 in back pay. Ultimately, as part of a settlement, Moser was required to write a letter of apology to Altman after rescinding the suspension in 1989. The entire case cost WWSU $112,000 in legal fees.

Moser left the district, taking a position in Chelmsford, MA, in the summer of 1990. 

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