The the school district head in West Warwick, R.I. and an administrator in the New Bedford Public Schools are the finalists to be Attleboro's next school district superintendent. The search committee assigned to narrowing the field of candidates announced the finalists —Kenneth Sheehan of West Warwick and Anthony Azar of New Bedford—Monday at the school committee meeting.
School Committee Chair Mike Tyler said the candidates could be interviewed as soon as next week. He projected an appointment would be made the third week of March. This timeline is tentative, but Tyler said the district is two weeks ahead of its previous schedule. He said there is an urgency to make an appointment because the candidates may have applied for other jobs since there are numerous superintendent openings in the area, although he was not aware of Sheehan or Azar being finalists in any other districts.
The finalists were selected after the search committee interviewed nine semifinalists, search committee Vice Chair Adeline Bee said. The district received 25 applications for the position.
Sheehan began working as schools chief in West Warwick in 2008 and has 31 years of experience in education. He has previously worked at Seekonk High School, Joseph Case Middle School in Swansea and Samuel Gorton Middle School in Warwick, R.I. Sheehan is an executive board member of the Rhode Island Superintendent's Association and the West Bay Collaborative.
Azar, who has 30 years of experience in education, is the administrator for curriculum and instruction in New Bedford, a district with 12,560 students. He has previously worked as an instructional supervisor, principal, assistant principal and classroom teacher. Azar served as a Democrat in the Rhode Island Senate from 1989 to 1990.