Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) Superintendent Brigid Nease will step down at the end of this school year. The school board is actively seeking applications for the new superintendent, who will begin the role on July 1, 2022. Applications are currently being accepted until January 3, 2022. The HUUSD Board will meet in early January to review the candidates and begin interviews in late January. Candidates will be invited to visit the district and meet with the board in the first week of February. The board will select the final candidate on February 3, 2022, and appoint the candidate at its February 9 meeting.
HUUSD has contracted national search firm McPherson & Jacobson, LLC to conduct the search. The firm conducted a survey of stakeholders, including school staff, administrators, students and community members to gauge the district’s strengths and challenges to assist with developing the job description. Dr. John Gratto of McPherson & Jacobson has met with the school board several times throughout the process and will help facilitate the interview process.
The school board is also in the process of developing its budget, which will be finalized by January 26 warned for voters on Town Meeting Day on March 1, 2022. Director of finance Michelle Baker presented the board with the second draft of the budget on December 15, which is up from a 3.7% increase in the first draft to a 3.9% increase, due largely to updated estimates on maintenance work to be done, such as painting and replacing cameras. Baker said the timing of the budget is a challenge because the state has not yet released its equalized pupils’ numbers, which drive the cost per pupil and can affect the tax rate. “It’s frustrating that these decisions come at the time when you have to pass the budget in January,” she said.