Superintendent to Move to New Role

School officials will seek an interim superintendent for the next school year, starting July 1.


Lynne Celli will no longer be Swampscott's fulltime superintendent after June 30.

She will remain in her current position until then but starting July 1, she will work for the district in a half-time position as executive superintendent for special projects, the superintendent said at Wednesday night's School Committee meeting.

The superintendent read a statement at the meeting, saying she plans to explore new challenges and opportunities.

The change was initiated by the School Committee but the superintendent was amenable to it since it is consistent with her future plans, she said in an interview after the meeting. 

In the coming weeks the district will begin searching for an interim superintendent to fullfill the district's regular day-to-day operations starting July 1.

During the meeting, the School Committee chairman said an interim superintendent sometimes serves in that role for one or two years before the district hires a permanent superintendent.

The district will hire a permanent superintendent as soon as it makes sense to do so, he said.

People in the room responded to the big administrative changes primarily with thanks to the superintendent for her service, but some were confused by the change and one longtime teacher was dismayed and upset by the announcement.

Hadley School kindergarten teacher Mary Clain, a veteran of 26 years at the school, said "I am very upset by all this movement."

She said she was distressed, as a teacher and a parent, by the changes, calling them a setback and a disservice to students.

School Committee Chairman Larry Beaupre said he has been privileged to have worked with the superintendent.

He and others cited her legacy of accomplishments and forging positive relations with the teachers' union.

Former School Committee Chairman Jackie Kinney said it had been an honor to work with the superintendent and that her service was integral to strides Swampscott schools have made.

The former chairman lauded the superintendent's strong leadership, saying it was delivered in spades.

Several audience members as well as a student representative to the committtee sought clarification on the changes, wondering what was going on, what the changes entailed.

In her new role Superintendent Celli will focus on projects including plans to meet the district's elementary school building needs.

The School Committee established the position in a vote at Wednesday's meeting.

Patch will report details on the position after it secures a copy of the contract.

Superintendent Lynne Celli's statement at Wednesday's meeting:

I would like to let the Swampscott Public Schools' community and the community at-large know that as of July 1, 2013, I will be assuming the role of Executive Superintendent for Special Projects in a half-time capacity. I am very proud of the work our team has accomplished during my tenure as superintendent. Examples include being named #40 in the Boston Magazine rankings of top school districts in the state, 16 months into our work together, Swampscott High School being named #49 in the Boston Magazine rankings of the top high schools in the state, 28 months into our work together, the positive relationship we enjoy with the Swampscott Education Association, the acceptance of the Statement of Interest by the Massachusetts School Building Authority for a new or renovated elementary school, and obtaining a private grant of $1,032,000 to jump start the K-12 STEM program and the Robotics program at Swampscott High School that has benefitted from this, just to name a few highlights. I am grateful to a School Committee, a Leadership Team, a dedicated staff, and a community that have supported and continue to support these efforts. Without their support, none of these accomplishments would have been possible.

However, at this juncture, I would like to take time to explore the next set of challenges and possible opportunities that will enhance my educational career of 30+ years, of which I am extremely proud. Swampscott is a community deeply committed to quality education for all children. On June 30, 2013, I will have been privileged to have served as superintendent for 3 years. For now however, we are all continuing to work on very ambitious initiatives that will always put "Children First."

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Sillybird February 07, 2013 at 04:56 PM
School Committee and PTA should be ashamed...Enough said
Whisky February 07, 2013 at 05:15 PM
John February 07, 2013 at 05:26 PM
No, The School Committee NEEDS to tell us, the taxpayers, the story ... Not us asking them for truth and transparency. Maybe Glen can chime in, he always is on here to tell us how great the SC is !
David Matela February 07, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Whisky, Informative link, but not encouraging for the future.
brian condon February 07, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Railroad job with a golden parachute to nullify litigation! We have all seen these. Very expensive way to cover tracks. Performance data has not been mentioned. Only broad allusions to management and leadership skills. These are in budgeted public funds the school committee is committing Sort of like Iraq. The taxpayers who are ultimately the ones who are paying for this wimpy evasion, and the children who are relying on that school system for the development of their basic skills. Are being short changed. Man up school committee! Tell the real story and let's move on. This is too big a frog to swallow .
brian condon February 07, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Should read UNBUDGETED. Funds
NaemhOisin February 07, 2013 at 08:08 PM
i would like a definition for 'special projects' please-and really, boasting about 49th?? are you kidding me-who can feel good about that? so are we to fund this newly created part time position while she explores her future in education ?? sorry, i do not understand this at all - in this terrible economy i have no idea why we are adding a new position at this level-can we afford this and why should we
John February 07, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Will someone from the School Commitee PLEASE Have the guts to answer these questions ?
Glenn Paster February 07, 2013 at 08:58 PM
John, "Maybe Glen{n} can chime in, he always is on here to tell us how great the SC is!" Unfortunately, I can't do that this time John. I agree with the comments and questions already stated. The current School Committee should answer to the parents and tax-payers. Ultimately, the voters will determine the make-up of the next school committee in the spring. My only two comments, Dr. Celli was selected as a finalist by a dedicated group that served on the Superintendent Hiring Committee. It should be noted that in-order to ensure complete fairness, openness and a non-political agenda, no school committee member sat on that hiring committee, (a highly regarded outside consulting firm specializing in the hiring of school district superintendents was also retained). After screening, preliminary interviews, etc., the chosen finalists were interviewed by the entire SC in a public forum. Dr. Celli was selected unanimously by that elected board. My second comment, as Neil Bernstein has said on numerous occasions, there is nothing more important than volunteering. For me, serving on the SC was a great learning experience. I highly recommend it to anyone interested. The Town Clerk has the necessary information. Enjoy the snow!
powderpuff79 February 07, 2013 at 09:11 PM
we all know what special projects is duoblespeak for...
John February 07, 2013 at 09:15 PM
AMEN, Glen(n) AMEN !!!
swampthing February 07, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Can someone please explain what's going on? Did Lynne Celli attempt to resign and we're trying to retain her? Why are we doing this? How on earth can we afford two superintendents, given that we can barely afford to run the high school?
David Matela February 07, 2013 at 09:54 PM
As far as I am aware only two people pulled papers for two spots and they are the incumbents. Doesn't give the voters much of a choice to determine the make-up of the next school committee. Also, I believe Dr. Celli's contract was extended in 2011, before it had expired. I presume the extension was based on merit. That said, what's changed?
Kevin Donaher February 07, 2013 at 10:00 PM
I don't blame the school committee or the hiring group for choosing Ms. Celli for the job. She had the credentials and said all the right things, just like all the other short term administrators flocking out of town....for better opportunities. However, I do question the school committees decision to allow her to stay on in a newly created position as "executive superintendent for special projects," on our dime, allowing her time as she states,..."to take time to explore the next set of challenges and possible opportunities that will enhance my educational career of 30+ years" Are you kidding me??? Why not just let everyone, make up a job title and go part time while they look for better opportunities? Don't we already have another assistant superintendant that was once the acting superintendant still on the pay roll? Does anyone ever wonder just how many superintendants one town needs? I think it's time to stop going outside the district to find these carpetbaggers that come in full of promises only to leave as soon as there is an opening in another town. Let's show Ms. Celli and Mr. Millington the door and instead of stating how much they have done and what a shame theyr'e leaving, put them on the first train out of town and start looking for the proven dedicated teachers from within the system to become the administrators with a focus on the needs of our children and not themselves..
John February 08, 2013 at 01:18 AM
I 2nd That !!
Maureen February 08, 2013 at 01:28 AM
As a former member of the school committee, I would like to say that I completely disagree with Glenn's assessment of the current committee members. Each and every one of them wants what is best for the district and they have more information about the circumstance surrounding personnel issues than anyone else. (FYI -Marianne Hartmann was actually on the search committee that selected Dr. Celli as a finalist in the Superintendent search so I don't know why that situation was mentioned.) The members of the committee are prohibited from discussing these matters in public so please do not expect them to respond. Maureen Thomsen
Ralph Wigginton February 08, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Transparency equals the release of the forensic audit. Maybe the town should start there and maybe we can find some answers to our questions?
Restless February 08, 2013 at 05:25 PM
What I heard is we tried to get rid of her but she refused to go. I too wish there was more transparency. We pay the taxes. I do admire those who are willing to run for unpaid elected office in this town but they are supposed to answer to us.
Restless February 08, 2013 at 05:27 PM
The details of the Mr Watson situation may not have been widely publicly disseminated but information was available to anyone prepared to dig a little. I was a case of a disorganized administrator not keeping good financial records and not a criminal act. I believe there was a report. Was this not public record either?
Sandie Bock February 08, 2013 at 07:47 PM
What in hell is wrong with you all, have you been drinking the Kool-Aid? It is obvious that Ms Celli committed some action that made it apparent that she needs to go, GO but her contract is a sticking point and the town lawyers are whooses and afraid of going to court so you have a new person on the Town rolls of part time superintendent of NOTHING!! Stand up and yell and demand explanations or DO NOT PAY YOUR TAXES UNTIL YOU GET TAXATION WITH REPRESENTATION IF not explanation, NOT TAX money coming. Bankrupt the town of funds and Ms Celli will be on her way, tail between her legs. IS it not clear she screwed up? Is it not clear that the School Committee is not talking because they can be sued? You do not demote someone that is worthy!!! She is a loser, but the kids are losing due to her and her ilk!! Wouldn't you leave if your reputaion was at risk, this way you all have all kinds of ideas of what she did or maybe did not do and her reputation is going South fast. The School Committee is obviously made up of EMPTY SUITS!!! Useless as teats on a bull!!!!
powderpuff79 February 08, 2013 at 07:58 PM
read between the lines, sheeple WHY did this happen RIGHT as millington threatened to go eslehwere? WHAT is he hiding? WHERE is the money coming from? HOW LONG has the school committee known about this? payoff contracts like this dont just write themselves in a day or two
Whisky February 08, 2013 at 08:21 PM
So what exactly CAN the school committee do without fear of litigation?
powderpuff79 February 08, 2013 at 09:21 PM
follow the money you dont pay someone nearly $100 grand to do nothing for months if your in the right
Barbara Katz February 09, 2013 at 01:41 AM
"I was a case of a disorganized administrator not keeping good financial records and not a criminal act" ??? Really? Maybe it's time for someone to actually dig a little deeper. Nothing is beyond the realm of possibility at this point ......seems to me there is corruptness in the district. Do you really think a forensic auditor would need to be brought in for "sloppy bookkeeping?" I'm sure the town accountant is competent enough to determine the difference between sloppy bookkeeping and possible criminal acts. I really doubt a forensic auditor would have been brought in for disorganized bookkeeping. No one knows whether it was criminal or not -- could have been criminal and someone decided to sweep it under the rug rather than tarnish the Town of Swampscott, if it were made public that something was going on right under their noses. Seems like everyone is worried about being sued, so much so that we would rather send the "bad people" on their way and become another town's problem! Let's not tarnish the reputation of this wonderful seaside community, God forbid!
powderpuff79 February 09, 2013 at 02:19 AM
yo barbara, maybe a forensic auditor was brought in cuz someone on the committee had a vendetta
Barbara Katz February 09, 2013 at 03:10 AM
yo powderpuff79, I sincerely doubt anyone has enough clout to convince the town to bring in a forensic auditor because someone had a "vendetta" .. are you for real?
Bob Crombie February 09, 2013 at 02:20 PM
Barbara, try asking the town accountant what prompted the forensic audit. I did. The answer might surprise you. In fact, Mr. Date may want to do that. He might find the answers to that question and to this mess are concerningly similar.
Barbara Katz February 11, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Lenny, I think the school committee, the "nurse" and the "policemen" and the "mother" should get a pat on the back, not a vote of no confidence. You sound really ignorant when you refer to the school committee members as to what they do for a living, like a typical Swampscott snooty person looking down at blue collar workers. Maybe you could do a better job? Oh yeah, that's right, you would rather hide behind the name of "Lenny Supporter" than to actually get involved. I don't know these members personally, but I can only assume they ran for the position because they care about our school system and our town, unlike the carpetbaggers that come in for the salary only.
Terry Date (Editor) February 11, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Lenny Supporter your comment was fine until you brought a student into the fray.
VITALE February 12, 2013 at 01:33 AM
I agree with terry date not cool Lenny Supporter sounds like you have a personal so called vendetta yourself maybe. Obviously the school committee members are following the law and rules put in place and legally they cannot speak about the final dealings that occurred with Dr Celli or they would be talking. It's not fair to attack them personally or their family members. It's simple all that needs to be said is. WHAT HAPPENS IN NANTUCKET STAYS IN NANTUCKET Dig people Dig. There is way more to that story!!!


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