Bourne Superintendent Candidates

Nantucket High School principal John Buckey and Dighton-Rehoboth assistant superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou were interviewed Friday for the Bourne superintendent's job.

Two more candidates for Bourne superintendent were interviewed by the Bourne School Committee Friday, January 10.

John J. Buckey, Nantucket High School principal, was the first to be interviewed on Friday. He was followed by Dighton-Rehoboth assistant superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou.

The interviews were recorded by Bourne Community TV and are scheduled to be aired throughout the weekend so that anyone unable to attend the interviews could still watch them. The interviews were open to the public.

On Wednesday, January 8, the board interviewed Bourne assistant superintendent Melissa Eakins-Ryan and Scituate superintendent Ron Griffin.

Prior to the interviews, all the candidates had the opportunity to spend the day touring the schools. During the tours, they talked with teachers and principals about the district and their hopes for what a new superintendent would bring to the district.

Board member Robb Duprey was absent from Friday's meeting, which chairman Christopher Hyldburg said was due to a family emergency for which he expressed his condolences to Mr. Durpey's family.

The candidates were asked why they want to be the Bourne superintendent, their thoughts on school-related fees, their opinion on how the media portrays MCAS scores as a benchmark for how successful a district is, and what qualities a Bourne High School graduate should possess.

Dr. Buckey said that he is at a point in his career where he is ready to be superintendent and feels that Bourne is a good fit for him.

When it comes to fees being charged for students to participate in activities such as sports and clubs, he said that the ideal would be that they would not exist. He said that they typically come out of an economic reality for districts and that sometimes they are used to fund scholarships so there is not always a drive to abolish them.

Dr. Buckey said that in theory, the MCAS tests are a good idea. However, he said that sometimes the media uses scores to compare schools to other schools, which he said judges those schools out of context. Instead, the scores from MCAS are better used to determine individual student growth from testing period to testing period as well as to inform how certain curriculum could be improved.

As far as what qualities a Bourne graduate might possess, Dr. Buckey said that it would look different for each student. If a student achieves what they set out to achieve after graduation, he considers that a win.

Dr. Buckey is currently the principal of Nantucket High School and has 23 years of experience in education and administration in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Kentucky.

He has been the principal of Nantucket High School since 2008.

Dr. Quinlan-Zhou said that she was attracted to Bourne because it is a district where she could picture herself sending her own children and that she is excited to see a school district that has been embraced so well by the entire town community.

She hesitated to comment much on fees as they pertain to Bourne, stating that she was not familiar enough with the structure of Bourne's fees to do so. However, she said that she feels that if fees are necessary to charge, they should be manageable and equitable.

When MCAS scores are released each year, Dr. Quinlan-Zhou said that she has found it helpful to send out press releases to reporters in order to get ahead of the message. She said that there are many components to the scores and explaining them to townspeople and the media has been beneficial in telling her district's story.

A successful Bourne graduate in Dr. Quinlan-Zhou's mind would be someone who has a 20th century skill set and the ability to put that skill set to use to achieve their individual goals.

Dr. Quinlan-Zhou is the assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and professional development for the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District. She has held that position since 2015.

Dr. Quinlan-Zhou was a finalist in the Falmouth School District’s search for a superintendent last year, but the position went to Lori S. Duerr.

The school board is meeting on Monday, January 13 at 6 PM in the Bourne Community Center to have a discussion about what their next steps will be in the process. There has not been an announcement as to when a decision might be made about who will be hired.

Former superintendent Steven M. Lamarche left the district for a superintendency in the Dudley-Charlton Regional School District so that he could be closer to his sister. The district hired Perry Davis as the interim superintendent in July.

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