Superintendent Candidate Anthony Azar Wants to 'Inspire' Attleboro
The Attleboro School Committee interviews the first of two finalists for the superintendent post.
Anthony Azar, school district administrator in New Bedford, answered questions Wednesday from the Attleboro School Committee in the first of two interviews of the superintendent finalists.
Azar said he has worked in the education system for more than 30 years, from teacher to administrator. He is the curriculum administrator in New Bedford, and has worked in South Providence, West Greenwich and Taunton.
The city of Attleboro has been giving the school district the minimum amount of funding required by the state, which creates a burden on the district to maintain level services from year to year. Azar said he would, if selected, look for other ways to keep Attleboro ahead in education.
"We would look at any and all resources within the district," he said. "We would be more competitive and look in different areas for grants."
Azar said he would be vigorous in attempting to get more money from the city government during budget season.
"The timeframe to have the discussion with the city government would be ongoing and day to day," he said. "I strongly believe the flagship of the community is the school system."
Azar said one of the first things he would do in the Attleboro school system would be to get to know the district inside and out during his first months.
"I would get an understanding of the budget," he said. "From what I gather, you have a top-notch businessperson in this district that I would sit down with and go through the budget step by step."
Azar said his life revolves around schools and education. He said he has two children in school in Rehoboth and his wife is a teacher in Taunton, and he said their conversation topics are all about school.
"We spend a lot of time talking about our school day and the things that mean most to us," he said.
Azar said his education career began as a teacher at Bishop McVinney Middle School in South Providence, where he remained for 11 years. He then moved to the East Greenwich/Exeter Junior High School. He also taught and was the assistant principal at James L. Mulcahey Middle School in Taunton.
He said as a high school student, a teacher inspired him, and he wants every student to feel that inspiration from teachers.
"Part of my job would have to be to inspire students," Azar said. "I want to make sure that the administrators that work with me and myself, that we don't get in [teachers'] way. Then they become invested in the process. We want to make sure people know they have a place at the table and they will be listened to."
The school committee will interview finalist Kenneth Sheehan, who is the superintendent in West Warwick, tonight at 7 p.m. Both candidates will tour the district next week.