As the Hopkinton School Committee looks to replace Superintendent Jonathan Landman after his resignation last month, their first step is to find an interim superintendent to lead the district while a permanent district head can be found.
The first candidate is Dennis Duquette, according to a release from the Hopkinton Public School District, Duquette recently served as a superintendent in Maine.
Duquette holds a Master’s in Education from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Siena College in New York. He served as the Superintendent of RSU #16 in Maine, and prior to that position, held various principal and assistant principal posts. He began his career in education as a social studies and language arts teacher. His early career in the private sector includes extensive experience in sales operations management.
8:22 Duquette has just stepped out after shaking hands again.
8:20 Duquette just wrapped up with passing out bookmarks (non-monetary) with an inspirational quote that he tries to live by. He closed with a overview of what skills and advantages he brings to the district.
8:20 do you have any questions for us?
8:17 Duquette said he has read up on the issues facing the district and that he is excited because there is stuff happening "When the superintendent is excited it flows down, when I get excited other people get excited."
8:14 from Scott Aghababian how do you expect to hit the ground running if we select you?
8:10 "The short answer is that I'm all of the above; and as a superintendent you need to be everything."
8:10 from Nancy Burdick do you see yourself as a manager, an educational leader, a motivator or a business leader?
8:08 Open door policy, "I told my secretary that she didn't need to take any messages for me, she could put the call through to me or send the person in to my office. If I didn't have an answer for them then I would find one." "People are going to know who I am just through being visible and being a part of the community. When people start trusting you they'll ask you more questions. And even though they may night like your answer if you take the time to explain it to them they will expect it."
8:05 from Jon Graziano how do you put people that you work with at ease?
8:05 Duquette said he would hold weekly meetings with his administrators on top of daily email and phone calls. "The collaboration I used with administrators, the goal settings. My abilities to get in to the classrooms to assist them and my level of enthusiasm to with work at them."
8:00 from Jean Bertschmann, can you describe your work with other administrators and building relationships with them.
7:55 After letting a staff member go accusations came up of some sort that lead to a lot of animosity and an investigation. After going through that "I was tired and I knew it was time to move on." (Editors Note: If Duquette eventually gets selected I will look in to this deeper -Sean)
7:53 Duquette had to consolidate and rationalize three towns, "I went to bat to try to create a tri-town middle school and it was tough. None of them wanted to give up what they had at their own middle school."
7:51 "In my 5 years as a superintendent I had to release a lot of staff members, overall 75 staff members lost their job for various reasons." "After my first year, the second year was fine, the third year was even better when things started coming together."
7:50 from Rebecca Robak, can you elaborate on your departure from your previous district.
7:47 "I think one of my biggest strengths is my positivity and my sense of humor. People have to feel at ease, they have to feel at ease, they have to know who you are, they have to feel empowered."
7:45 Same Question Duquette is explaining his most recent work aligning with the core standards and bringing an underperformed district up to par.
7:40 "I knew I wanted to be a teacher since the time I was 9." "I was asked to build out the Jiffy Lube to build out the Springfield operation to 6 stores, not because I was a mechanic but because I was able to teach and motivate and because I was enthusiastic." Duquette said he was initially intimidated when he left the classroom to become a Dean of Students at a High School; but eventually realized he was able to reach and help far more students and faculty through doing that.
7:40 question from Scott Aghababian, what makes you good for this, background etc.
7:40 "When I saw this open position I thought it was perfect for myself and my wife who is a school teach. That's the simple answer," Duquette said. "I've been in a school district that was fairly affluent, and I've been in one that was not very affluent and I'm looking to make the next step in to a district that is very progressive."
7:38 Question From Nancy Burdick, why here, why Hopkinton?
7:36: Dennis Duquette has just walked in and introduced himself to all of the candidates.