Falmouth Public Schools Seeks Finance Director

Falmouth Public Schools’ director of finance and facilities, Michael M. Ward, handed in his resignation in early May and officially left his post in late June, after 14 months on the job.

The job was posted a few weeks ago. As of July 9, the school had received one application, Superintendent Bonny L. Gifford said.

Since Mr. Ward’s departure, Dr. Gifford said that she, town finance director Jennifer Petit, and others have been handling Mr. Ward’s responsibilities. Officials in town hall helped the school close out the fiscal year, and “I can’t thank them enough,” Dr. Gifford said.

“Right now, we’re under wraps, things are in control,” Dr. Gifford said. But it would be important to have someone in the position by the beginning of the school year “when my plate is overflowing,” she said. If a qualified permanent replacement cannot be found, an interim candidate would be considered. An interim finance director could work part time, and could be a retired professional with experience in school finance, she said.

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Reached by phone at his home in Mattapoisett earlier this month, Mr. Ward said he left the position to attend to family and health-related issues.

Next year, Mr. Ward will be taking a math teaching position in Fall River. “I’m going to be able to go back and teach some severely disadvantaged and at-risk students math,” he said. Previous to his job with Falmouth, Mr. Ward said he was a curriculum director, an assistant principal, and a math teacher for 20 years.

Mr. Ward had very positive things to say about Falmouth and its school committee. “Falmouth is an outstanding town; you have a community that cares about its town, they care about the elderly, and they care about their kids,” he said. The Falmouth School Committee was “the best school committee I ever dealt with,” he said.

Other school committees are uninterested in curriculum and student learning, and only perk during budget discussions, Mr. Ward said. Members often serve for a year or less and do so only to push their personal agenda for their children, or act as budget hawks. By contrast, he said, the Falmouth School Committee is made up of long-serving members truly interested in education. “I could not have asked for nicer people to work with,” he said.

Requirements for the facilities and finance director position include a master’s degree and being licensed as a school business administrator. In addition to preparing the school budget and managing building repairs, the finance and facilities director oversees the school’s transportation, food services, and human resources departments. 

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