applies for Manchester job
By JOHN WHITSON
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
A former district administrator and a next-door neighbor are among four finalists to become the city's next schools superintendent.
Thomas Brennan, now superintendent of Kearsarge Regional School District, worked in Manchester as an assistant superintendent from 1998-2000.
Darrell Lockwood has been superintendent of schools for Goffstown, New Boston and Dunbarton the past 10 years.
They are joined by Aquine Jackson, chief academic officer for Milwaukee (Wis.) Public Schools, and Herbert Levine, interim superintendent of Blackstone-Millville (Mass.) Regional School District, as finalists for the Manchester job.
All four are expected to tour the state's largest school district March 4 and 5, to meet students, teachers, parents and the general public.
The full school board will ultimately vote on a successor to Henry Aliberti, acting superintendent since the resignation of Michael Ludwell in November.
Levine, 60, has worked in New Hampshire before, as principal of Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow from 1988-92.
He has been superintendent of schools in Salem, Mass., and was once assistant headmaster of South Boston High School.
"Cities have always attracted me," he said yesterday, adding that with more than 17,000 students, Manchester is larger than any district he's led before.
Lockwood, 54, also a finalist for the superintendent's job in Tynsborough, Mass., said the city's status as a "district in need of improvement" under No Child Left Behind is a challenge.
"It's also part of the opportunity," he said.
The decision to look for new work after a decade in Goffstown, said Lockwood, is simply putting into practice what he preaches: lifelong learning.
"At times in your life you've got to stretch," he said.
Jackson, 61 has spent his career in Wisconsin, working as Milwaukee's director of neighborhood schools and as director of student services prior to his current job.
"Many of my accomplishments in terms of student achievement and community involvement seem to be what the Manchester district needs," he said.
Jackson has never been a superintendent, but Manchester's size is unlikely to prove intimidating. Milwaukee has 90,000 students.
Brennan, 60, said he enjoys the rural but sprawling Kearsarge district, but is eager to return to the city.
"I enjoyed the challenges the city presents," he said. "It's one of the few urban centers in New Hampshire that has that kind of diversity."
Brennan has led the Kearsarge district since leaving Manchester in 2000. Prior to that, he was principal of Conant High School in Jaffrey.
The next superintendent is expected to start work July 1. A salary range has been set at $135,000 to $155,000.
Reproduced by the Goffstown