Braintree to vote Monday on new school superintendent

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BRAINTREE – The school committee will vote Monday night to appoint James Lee as the next school superintendent.

Lee has worked in the Braintree schools for nearly a decade. He has been interim school superintendent since July 1, when former School Superintendent Frank Hackett left to become interim school superintendent in Winchester.

The school committee met Thursday night in a closed-door session to negotiate a contract with Lee, Chairman Tom Devin said.

Braintree Assistant School Superintendent James Lee has been appointed interim superintendent.
Braintree Assistant School Superintendent James Lee has been appointed interim superintendent.

"We've had talks with him and those talks continue," Devin said in an interview after the meeting.

During a brief open session Thursday night, Devin said Lee's experience would "provide continuity" for the school system at a time when some key leadership positions must be filled. He also said it would save the town money. He said he had discussed the appointment individually with each of the other committee members in recent weeks.

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In a phone interview, Devin said the system will need to fill the position of special education director and one or two principal jobs due to retirements in the coming months. He said Lee's knowledge of the system will be important in making those appointments.

The committee also met in a closed-to-the-public session with Glenn Koocher, the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Devin said. The association offers consultant services in searches for school superintendents.

Devin said Koocher told the committee that a search for a school superintendent would cost $30,000 to $50,000.

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The school committee has taken different approaches in the appointment of the last two school superintendents. Assistant School Superintendent Maureen Murray was promoted to superintendent without a search in 2013. When she resigned two years later, a search resulted in two finalists the committee concluded were not right for the Braintree job. Hackett was appointed from among three candidates who applied after the original search ended.

Lee joined the school system in 2012 when he was appointed headmaster of Braintree High School. Five years later, he moved into the job of assistant school superintendent. He began his career in education as a special education teacher at Stoneham Middle School in 1990.

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This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Braintree negotiating with James Lee for school superintendent job

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