WILMINGTON, MA — At its Wednesday night meeting, the Wilmington School Committee unanimously agreed to offer Dr. Glenn Brand its Superintendent position. Brand, who most recently served as the Superintendent in Acton-Boxborough (2014-2017), will begin July 1, pending successful contract negotiations.
“The [staff and parent] survey results reinforced my opinion. One candidate really stood out,” said School Committee Chair Steve Bjork. “I’m in favor of Dr. Glenn Brand. He was wonderful during his visit. He was the unanimous choice among almost all staff that met him. Survey results backed him by a 2-1 margin to the next closest candidate.”
“I feel very comfortable with my feelings that Dr. Brand is the ideal candidate. He has a strong command in all areas of the district,” said M.J. Byrnes. “He has a calmness about him… He takes a similar approach in many ways to [former Superintendent] Joanne Benton.”
“All four candidates had something to give to Wilmington, but – by far – Dr. Brand has the most,” said Peggy Kane, who noted all the constituents who contacted her over the past 24 hours supported him. “Brand presents himself nicely — he acts as equal to us, even though he knows more than we do.”
“Dr. Brand has the experience we’re looking for — classroom teacher, principal, and superintendent,” said Manny Mulas. “He also has all the qualities we were looking for.” Mulas noted Brand displayed knowledge, thoughtfulness, passion, and commitment. “He’s the best candidate of the group.”
“For me, Brand is clearly so strong, I’m not comparing him to anyone else anymore,” said Jennifer Bryson. “He’s the one… He meets the Community Profile as drawn up.”
“I’m very much in favor of Dr. Brand,” added Tom Talbot. “He’s far above everyone else.”
Bjork, Bryson and Kane will serve as the team that negotiates Brand’s contract.
The Vote Almost Didn’t Happen
While she ultimately voted for Brand, School Committee member Julie Broussard expressed frustration with the process, not the candidate. The School Committee had just completed interviews of the Superintendent finalists less than 24 hours prior.
“I’m certainly willing to move forward with deliberation and start discussion, but I’m not comfortable voting on this right now,” began Broussard. “I was just given the packet of survey results tonight. I haven’t had a chance to review it. If we’re going to do a survey, we have to respect the folks who took the time and actually review it.”
“We never even took a vote as to whether we wanted to visit the finalists’ districts,” added Broussard. “I’m feeling a lot of pressure to vote right now and I don’t appreciate it. I’m asking for a little time to pull my thoughts together.”
Other members sympathized with Broussard’s position, but noted that Dr. Brand was a superintendent finalist in at least two other searches and feared those searches could move faster than theirs with any sort of delay.
“Next week is School Vacation Week. There’s several members that are going to be traveling,” reminded School Committee Chair Steve Bjork. “Several of our candidates are in high demand, and there’s currently 50 superintendent openings in Massachusetts.”
“There’s no discussion as to whether [Brand] is a fit candidate or not. He is. We have to do this tonight,” warned Peggy Kane. “We really need to scoop him up…”
After approximately 20 minutes of discussion, the School Committee voted 6-1 to take a vote, with Broussard in opposition. The School Committee then voted 7-0 to offer the position to Dr. Brand.
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