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Shawsheen’s newest superintendent makes the transition to the district

The final vote cast in favor of hiring Shawsheen Valley Technical High School’s newest superintendent-director position, Dr. Brad Jackson reflected on the upcoming school year and acclimating to a new district.

Jackson was chosen after the first search for the superintendent was suspended earlier in the spring. Originally, Jackson’s sought a shorter, two-year contract, which took him out of the running. After the suspension in April, Jackson was interviewed again by the Shawsheen Valley Technical High School School Committee, which agreed to the shorter contract.

The committee voted unanimously 10-0, and the Superintendent Search Committee also voted unanimously in favor of hiring Jackson.

Jumping into the district on July 1, Jackson said the transition with former interim superintendent director Melanie Hagman who was in the position last year, has been positive.

“Actually it’s been very smooth,” said Jackson, a Wilmington resident. “I finished my other position on [June] 30, so I hit the ground running. Melanie’s office is right next to mine, so it is a short walk when I have questions, which is very helpful.”

Multiple calls to Hagman’s office for comment were unreturned as of Monday, July 13.

Planning for the school year

On Jackson’s short list of things to achieve before the projected start of school, the top item, as in all districts, is how Shawsheen will reopen to students and staff, if at all.

“We need to figure out what our reopening plan is for the fall, work on hiring a new director of student services, and any other hiring that needs to be done before the school year,” said Jackson.

Getting to know the building

Jackson said he has been working in the building with a small staff since July 1.

“I am coming to the office every day,” said Jackson.

He said it was tough leaving his other district before graduation. “I really developed quite a sympathy for the seniors and what they were going through,” he said.

He said after 16 years in the district and not being able to say goodbye to colleagues face-to-face, he had a certain sense of the lack of closure that seniors and their families felt.

He said he did take the opportunity to watch the Shawsheen ceremonies, which were held over three days by shop class.

“Because I live so close I took the chance to sneak over and stand in the grove,” said Jackson. “They went really well.”