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May 13, 2013

Politics scare candidate from high-pay job

HAVERHILL — Amesbury’s former school superintendent has been a hot commodity in the local school business manager market since his retirement two years ago, but he found the political tension in Haverhill was more than he cared to tolerate.

David Jack, the retired Amesbury school superintendent who was on track to be hired as Haverhill’s interim business manager, unexpectedly withdrew his candidacy late last week. His decision came after Superintendent James Scully told the School Committee he planned to hire Jack, but the committee refused to approve the appointment until it could meet Jack and question him.

On Thursday, Jack sent Scully an email withdrawing his candidacy.

“Given the initial reception of your idea by the School Committee, I think that I am going to withdraw any interest into that position,” the email said. “I would have enjoyed the opportunity to work with you and am sure that we would have been very successful.”

School Committee President Paul Magliocchetti said Jack might have been scared off by the committee’s history of political squabbles and infighting with administrators.

“The disagreement we had was with the superintendent over the process for bringing this person on,” Magliocchetti said. “It had nothing to with (Jack), but maybe he got the wrong the message.”

Jack retired in 2011 and has worked as interim business manager at Pentucket Regional School District, then for a while at Amesbury schools and, most recently at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School..

Jack was also in line to become Haverhill’s highest paid employee per day, at a rate of $750 for every eight hours worked. However, Scully said Jack would work only about 10 days a month, limiting his salary.

Scully informed the committee of Jack’s email at a special early morning meeting Friday, at which the committee interviewed and then approved the appointment of Theresa Senio as the district’s new special education director, another top-level job that was vacant. Scully told the committee he was unable to speak to Jack directly since receiving his email because Jack was traveling in Canada.

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