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Mastrocola ready to be Peabody's "long-term" superintendent

Posted by Justin Rice  February 13, 2012 02:19 PM

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The newly confirmed superintendent of Peabody Schools, Joseph A. Mastrocola, said he plans to enter contract negotiations for his new job as soon as possible. He also said he plans to be Peabody’s “long-term” superintendent.

The Peabody School Committee voted last Thursday night to hire the former assistant superintendent of schools in Peabody and current Groton-Dunstable Regional School District Superintendent.

Mastrocola, who has more than 25 years of experience in the education field as a teacher and beyond, served as the assistant superintendent of schools in Peabody from 2007 to 2010.

“I’m honored to be selected to be superintendent of schools, it’s a great honor for me,” Mastrocola said during a telephone interview this morning.  “On Friday I was notified by officials in Peabody that they voted me to be superintendent of schools and I subsequently notified my school committee here.

“I intend to accept the position if contracts negotiations move forward favorably.”

Mastrocola, who said contract negotiations could start as early as this week, said he is currently in the second year of a three year contract. He said he currently makes $157,500 a year along with some other “fringe” benefits and travel allowances. He said in June he declined a $1,500 bonus from the district.

The Peabody job was listed for $150,000 to $175,000 a year, Mastrocola said. Mastrocola said he planned to start talking to Mayor Edward A. “Ted” Bettencourt , Jr. this week along with the district’s lawyers.

“Sometimes these things take a long time and sometimes they don’t,” Mastrocola said. “I’m optimistic it will work out for myself and the school district. I think it’s a great match in terms of skill sets. The community wants a long-term superintendent and that’s what I want too. “

Mastrocola was one of three finalists for the job to be visited by the school committee two weeks ago and also to participate in a full-day interview in Peabody last week. The interim head of the Salem Academy Charter School's lower school, David N. Fischer, and Scituate Public Schools Interim Superintendent James J. Kelleher were the other two finalists for the job.

While Peabody’s Interim Superintendent Herb Levine, who took over on an interim basis seven months ago after Dr. C. Milton Burnett retired, said last week that Mastrocola would start July 1, Mastrocola said his start date still needed to be officially negotiated.

“I haven’t negotiated a start date or a transition date here yet,” Mastrocola said. “[July 1] would be optimum but I just don’t know that yet. The start of the fiscal year is usually a good time to start, but I have to transition here. I have contractual obligations here. We’ve done some great things here.”

While Mastrocola said he’s proud of the fact that he’s brought two years of fiscal stability to Groton Dunstable Regional School District and added or restored 22.5 teaching positions in the past 18 months, he said he’s looking forward to returning to Peabody.

“I spent a lot of time there so it’s good for me going in,” he said. “I know the leadership team, I know the players. I love the school committee. It’s a workable group; I think their agenda is student centered and that’s what attracted me to the position.”

Justin A. Rice can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com.

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