By Jonathan Phelps
---- — Andover native William Hart, who previously taught in the Andover schools, was unanimously selected last week to become the new superintendent for the Ipswich School District.
Hart, a 1980 graduate of Andover High School, has been the assistant superintendent for the Pentucket Regional School District, which includes Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury, since 2007.
Pending contract negotiations, he will succeed Ipswich Superintendent Rick Korb, who announced in September that he will retire June 30 after 15 years at the helm of Ipswich schools.
The other two finalists were Mashpee Superintendent Ann Bradshaw and Susan Viccaro, superintendent in Regional School District 13, which includes the towns of Durham and Middlefield, Conn.
Hart was unanimously selected for the job. School officials pointed to his passion, ambition, energy and strengths in technology, community outreach and curriculum as the reason he rose above the other candidates.
School Committee Chairman Hugh O’Flynn said he is hoping to bring the school district to the next level and that of all the candidates, Hart would be “our transformational leader.”
“A leader who could take us to the next level as a curriculum leader and with technology,” he said. “I found his passion very much a positive.”
Despite some concern over Hart’s experience with budget development, school board member Jeff Loeb ultimately said, “I think he is the right person for us, right now.”
School Committee member Sean Gresh mentioned Hart’s experience as a principal in a small town in Maine and in Leominster. “He can definitely handle budgets,” Gresh said, while also pointing to his experience with strategic planning.
Hart was a teacher at Andover High for seven years. He later became principal of Leominster High School and Georges Valley High School in Maine before joining the Pentucket district.
The son of William and Alice Hart of Andover, Hart has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston College and earned his doctorate in school administration from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.