Mashpee School Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a recommendation by superintendent Brian A. Hyde to appoint Amber Camelio as the assistant superintendent of schools. Ms. Camelio is currently the Kenneth C. Coombs School psychologist and chairman of the Special Education Department team.
“Of all of the decisions I have made in my 10 months as superintendent of schools, and there have been thousands of them, I believe I am most confident that this is a great one,” Mr. Hyde told the committee.
Prior to making his selection, Mr. Hyde met individually with each member of the school committee and received comments from parents and school faculty. They recommended Ms. Camelio as a dedicated and passionate faculty member. During her interview with Mr. Hyde, she outlined specific educational goals to target and presented “a sense of urgency.”
“She understands that students cannot wait for incremental improvement,” he said.
As the assistant superintendent, which will be an extension of the current curriculum director position, Ms. Camelio will also help develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students and lead professional development for school faculty, with a special focus on the preschool level. She will officially begin her position on July 1.
The only discussion of the position came on a question from committee member Don D. Myers, who asked what levels of experience administrators have within the district’s reorganization plan.
“Right now, we’re searching for new leaders,” he said, listing the several positions that Mr. Hyde’s reorganization plan will require. “In addition to losing an experienced principal due to retirement who won’t be replaced, we have a superintendent with almost one year of experience, and we’re going to bring in an assistant superintendent who will require the engagement of a trained mentor to provide guidance while she will grow into that role. I’m concerned about the vacuum of practical experience at the top of our organization that this creates with all of these senior roles. How will we address these concerns?”
Committee member Phyllis A. Sprout responded by describing her experience in researching Mr. Hyde’s progress to date as a member of the subcommittee for his mid-cycle assessment. Through her own review of his work and the feedback of his coach, she said that Mr. Hyde had completed his assignments thoroughly without any prior experience as superintendent of schools. Experience is not always as crucial as passion and drive, she said.
“It’s not just the data,” she said. “It’s about the narrative and it’s about the story.”
Committee members Joan N. Oliver, David P. Bloomfield, and Scott M. McGee echoed Ms. Sprout’s opinion, lauding Mr. Hyde for his success to date, and the motion to approve Ms. Camelio was approved unanimously.