YARMOUTH – Superintendent Judy Paolucci will leave Yarmouth’s school system at the end of January to become a superintendent in Massachusetts.

Paolucci announced her decision to move to the Leicester Public Schools in an email Friday. Her last day in Yarmouth will be Jan. 27.

“I’ll be working full-time and more to make sure the transition is smooth,” Paolucci said in a telephone interview.

Paolucci, who has been Yarmouth’s superintendent since 2009, said she is moving to be closer to her family and husband, who works in Rhode Island.

Leicester, outside Worcester, is similar in size and performance to Yarmouth, she said.

The Yarmouth School Committee has named Ronald Barker interim superintendent while a search for a permanent replacement begins.

Barker had worked for the Maine School Management Association, where he helped other districts search for superintendents. He is a longtime Yarmouth resident and educator. His wife, Joanne, taught fourth grade at Yarmouth Elementary School.

Barker will begin in mid-January, said School Committee Chair Abby Diggins. His contract extends to the end of June.

A special meeting of the committee is scheduled on Jan. 3, when the members will begin deliberating on the composition of the search committee.

Diggins said the group will likely hire a search firm to aid in the process.

She said plans call for a new superintendant to begin July 1.

“We thank Judy for her service to Yarmouth over the last four years and wish her the very best in her new position,” Diggins wrote.

Staff Writer Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

mbyrne@pressherald.com