Friday, May 24, 2013
[ED NOTE: This photo and the name is embargoed until after the vote of Yarmouth school committee's 7 p.m meeting Monday, 5/4/09] Photo courtesy of Judith J. Paolucci: Judith J. Paolucci, assistant superintendent of schools in Narragansett, R.I., was hired Monday night as the new superintendent in Yarmouth. She starts her new job July 1. Photo courtesy of Judith J. Paolucci
YARMOUTH — A former high school science teacher who is now an assistant superintendent in Rhode Island will be Yarmouth's next superintendent.
School committee members voted 7-0 Monday night to hire Judith J. Paolucci of Narragansett, R.I. She is scheduled to start her new job July 1.
Paolucci will replace Ken Murphy, who has been superintendent for 18 years and announced his retirement in December.
The 14-member superintendent search committee recommended Paolucci after a process that included a daylong visit to her school district in Narragansett. Committee members talked to a wide variety of people from the schools and the town. She was one of 25 applicants for the job.
Paolucci's reputation for collaborative leadership and her ''depth of knowledge'' of a school system at all levels were two of the things that made her stand out among the candidates, said Tim Wheaton, chairman of the Yarmouth School Committee and the search committee.
''We did not want someone who would take a sharp turn to the right or the left,'' Wheaton said. ''The school system is operating extremely well, but we have a culture of continuous improvement. We always have our sights set on how to do better.''
Paolucci, 46, said she was interested in the Yarmouth position for a variety of reasons, including the district's size, reputation and accomplishments. Yarmouth's school system has about 1,400 students in four schools, while Narragansett's has 1,487 in three schools.
''I didn't particularly look to move, but I got notice of the opening and was intrigued by the reputation of the district, that it is high performing and continually growing,'' Paolucci said Monday from Narragansett. ''It's about the same size as Narragansett, and one of the things I love about being here is that I know all of the teachers by name.''
Paolucci has been an assistant superintendent for six years, and was a science teacher for 12. She has a masters' degree from Brown University and a Ph.D in education from the University of Rhode Island.
Paolucci's contract and salary still have to be finalized, Wheaton said.
This year, Murphy has a base salary of $117,900, plus a $15,000 annuity, and probably would have received a 2 percent raise, Wheaton said.
Paolucci was hired as assistant superintendent in Narragansett to streamline curriculums, a job she did well, said Ray Ranaldi, a school committee member in Narragansett. She did it so well, Ranaldi said, that the committee might not have to hire ''as strong a person'' to replace her.
Ranaldi also said Paolucci was hired to ''reach out to the community'' on behalf of the school department. He said she did that with an approachable style and a willingness to collaborate.
''She makes sure everyone has the facts, and everyone has input, but she's not afraid to make that final decision,'' Ranaldi said. ''And she's very approachable. People don't call her Dr. Paolucci, they call her Judy.''
Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: