School Supt. Colley says he's staying in Westport; drops bid for Freetown/Lakeville job

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Superintendent of Schools Carlos Colley will be staying in Westport after all, having decided not to pursue the superintendent's job in the Freetown/Lakeville School District. Dr. Colley alerted Westport last month that he had been named a finalist for the Freetown/Lakeville job but then last week said that "although I took the opportunity to interview with the Freetown/Lakeville School District, I will not continue to be a candidate." "As in any interview process, the interaction is a two way street," he said in a letter on the Westport schools website. "The district interviews me as much as I interview the district and evaluate whether there is a good fit." Interviewed Thursday he said that while he felt the Freetown/Lakeville job offered "a ton of potential," he also needed as a candidate to "weigh the issues and expectations that come and whether they could realistically be fulfilled … If the expectation is that you are going to come in and fix everything overnight then that is something to take into consideration." He said that Freetown/Lakeville, "like every district including Westport," has issues and challenges — budgets usually being at or near the top. "Sometimes you can make your best effort but aren't rewarded with the result you'd hoped for — with an override for example." Dr. Colley said he remains fully committed to the Westport job. "At this stage, I am looking for a very collaborative relationship between the superintendent, the school committee, and town officials," he said in his message to the community. "I know all towns and districts have to work on this, and at this point, I believe I need to continue my work in Westport for now. We have a budget to put together for next year, programs that we are in the process of putting together, and many initiatives in the works.  I will continue to do my best for the children of Westport. High on that list of challenges is preparation of the coming fiscal year budget "We have over $1.6 million in needs requests from the buildings. All are legitimate, but I am looking for your input in how to prioritize them." The other announced finalists for the Freetown/Lakeville job were Christopher Parker, president and lead educational consultant for Westport-based IDEAL Consulting Services Inc., Linda Carrier, director of curriculum and instruction for the Monson School District, and Maureen Ward, superintendent of the Franklin, NH, district.  

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