The School Committee voted to approve to helm next year; but just barely.
"I have some reserves that while he may be the best candidate left in front of us, he might not be the best candidate for us," Jon Graziano, one of the two voters against Hiersche, said.
Graziano was joined by Nancy Burdick as the two no votes, voting in favor were the other three School Committee members; Jean Bertschmann, Rebecca Robak and Scott Aghababian.
"I really didn't feel a great connection with him from a vision standpoint," Aghababian said. "But I think we're looking for someone to carry the ball for a year and I think he can fill that role."
Having just after three years as their leader, Hiersche has experience in many of the issues that will face the schools this year including union contract negotiations and the new teacher evaluation system that will be implemented this year.
"I think he has a lot of valuable experience as far as our goals for this year are concerned," Robak said.
For Burdick, the decision changed from whether they needed to look for the leader that would work well in town, or the leader that could have the biggest impact on the schools.
"I came here tonight not having any idea which way this was going to go and that's unsettling," Burdick said. "I'm not sure he's the right person for the community but now I'm thinking about whether he could be the right person for the district."
The committee will enter into contract negotiations with Hiersche in the coming days, and the expectation is that he will start Aug. 1 and lead the district until June 30, 2013.