Superintendent Finalist Meets the Parents
Kenneth Sheehan visits the Attleboro school district.
After spending the day touring the local campuses and meeting with city and school officials as well as students, Attleboro school district superintendent finalist Kenneth Sheehan concluded his Monday tour by speaking in front of a small crowd of parents at Attleboro High's mini-auditorium.
Since 2007, Sheehan has headed the school system in West Warwick, R.I. But the majority of his three decades working in education has taken place in Massachusetts. He even lived in Attleboro for three years as a newlywed.
"I always had the intention of coming back to Massachusetts," Sheehan said. "I never retired from Massachusetts. I'm still vested in Massachusetts. This is where I built my house and this is where I raised my children."
He added, "I have the background, the expertise, the skill level by which to move Attleboro ... forward."
Sheehan described West Warwick in 2007 as a "teacher-driven" district that "was for teachers more so than for kids and the union was in control." This was an unacceptable situation for him, and with cooperation of the teachers, he changed the structure, Sheehan said.
"I am extremely transparent with regard to I am here for the children," Sheehan said. "I am here to advance the education for every single child who walks through our doors."
He described himself as an accessible man who is visible in the district. He said he enjoys meeting with students.
"I like to be able to share and also listen to where they are and what they're doing and where they're going and how they're going to get there," Sheehan said. "I ask, 'What can I do? What can the school system do?'"
When asked about his biggest weakness, Sheehan said it was his lack of tolerance and impatience for "slackers" and "incompetence."
"If we're paying people money or we have expectations ... quite honestly I need for them to deliver or they can't work for me," he said.
Sheehan's public interview was supposed to take place last Thursday, but was canceled due to the weather. It has been rescheduled for this Thursday at 7 p.m. in Room 178E at Attleboro High. The other finalist, Anthony Azar, was interviewed last week. He will visit the district today and take questions from parents at Attleboro High's mini-auditorium from 4:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The school committee is expected to select a new superintendent next week.