Brockton Schools begins search for interim superintendent

BROCKTON – The search for an interim Superintendent of Schools will begin shortly as the Brockton School Committee agreed Tuesday to create a subcommittee to find a new temporary leader.

Currently James Cobbs is serving as acting superintendent while Mike Thomas, superintendent of BPS, is on administrative leave amid an ongoing investigation into the school district’s finances following the revelation in August 2023 of a multimillion-dollar budget shortcoming.

“We’re simply looking to ensure that we have an interim signed on for the year ahead,” said School Committee member Jorge Vega in a statement to The Enterprise.

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BPS Director of Communications Jordan Mayblum said Thomas remains on administrative leave. He added that no additional information regarding his status was available at this time.

“An interim superintendent would be a temporary leader for the district for a specific time period instead of acting, which is for an indefinite period of time,” said Mayblum.

Mayblum added that, “this is an opportunity for the district and School Committee to solicit applications from a broad pool of qualified candidates in order to determine who may be best suited to lead the district on an interim basis.”

Thomas could not be reached for comment.

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Process to find an interim superintendent

The Brockton School Committee voted May 7 to draft a job description and post for the interim superintendent position. The committee also created an interim superintendent search subcommittee to interview potential candidates. The subcommittee will narrow the pool to two or three finalists who will then be interviewed by the full school committee at a public meeting. The full committee will select which finalist to hire for the job.

Cobbs, who’s been acting superintendent since September, can apply for the position if he chooses to continue serving as the school district’s leader. He would go through the same interview process alongside the rest of the candidates.

“We’re simply doing our due diligence and hope that Dr. Cobbs will consider being a candidate for the interim role,” Vega said.

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“This is nothing against Dr. Cobbs, we didn’t anticipate what we’re dealing with right now,” said School Committee Vice Chair Tony Rodrigues. “It looks from what’s going on that we will need somebody for the whole school year next year to be in that interim role.”

Rodrigues will join Mayor of Brockton and School Committee Chair Robert Sullivan on the selection subcommittee, along with Vega and Ward 3 committee member Ana Oliver.

“I like the fact that Jorge [Vega] is an educator. I also like the fact that he’s brand new and he’s coming with kind of an unjaded lens,” the mayor said. “I personally think that that’s a good thing.”

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The subcommittee will vet and interview applicants in executive session to maintain the privacy of applicants that aren’t selected. Once the finalists are chosen, the full school board will conduct interviews and discuss who to hire in meetings that will be open the public.

The committee hopes to have the position filled by summer so the new interim superintendent will be ready to take on the next academic year in the fall.


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