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School chief dies after short illness

Posted by smaas April 10, 2007 07:10 PM

NORTHBOROUGH / SOUTHBOROUGH

Rosemary Joseph, superintendent of the Northborough and Southborough public schools, died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston this afternoon after a short illness.

Joseph, who had led the district for less than a year, was 54.

She became “suddenly and seriously ill” on Saturday while at her home in West Barnstable, said Larry Joseph, her husband of 34 years.

He would not elaborate on her illness, but said “no one thought it was life threatening.”

“It’s a complete shock,” said Paul Gaffney, chair of the Southborough School Committee and a member of the regional school committee. “We were all looking forward to working with her for a long time.”

Nancy Berglund, chair of the Northborough School Committee, described Joseph as "so grounded and very knowledgeable and professional.”

Members of the district’s three school committees learned Joseph was ill Sunday night and scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Trottier School in Southborough to decide who should take over in her absence.

Now they will use the meeting to draw up an interim plan for managing the district.

Joseph, the former superintendent of the Harwich public schools, started the job May 15.

She leaves two children, Leigh, 34, and David, 26.

Her husband said funeral arrangements are still incomplete. They will be handled by the Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home in Southbridge.

- Jennifer Rosinski

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