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May 01. 2013 10:11PM

Superintendent Conrad set to start negotiations for new contract in Nashua

NASHUA - In the final year of the contract he signed to become district superintendent, Mark Conrad said that with the Board of Education beginning the evaluation of his performance, negotiations for a new contract could be close behind.

Conrad, who was chief financial officer for the Bedford School District before becoming the superintendent in 2009, said he has every hope and expectation that a new contract will be worked out between himself and the Board of Education.

Board members Steven Haas and Dennis Ryder said that while the process of evaluating Conrad has begun, the district has not begun negotiations on a new contract.

"We would hope to retain Mr. Conrad as our superintendent with a new contract after his new one expires," Haas said.

However, while Ryder and Haas both said they would personally like to see Conrad return, each made it clear they were not speaking in an official capacity.

Conrad's current contract was designed as a three-year contract with the option of an extra year at a cost of roughly $135,000. He added that despite some unexpected problems with the district, he has been very happy with his time as superintendent.

"When I came on board, there were financial difficulties I did not anticipate, but it has been a positive four years, we returned stability to the district and are moving in a direction which will increase student achievement and position them for future."

Conrad added, "This is a great district with a great staff and it is humbling to work with so many talented and dedicated staff parents and students."

If his contract is renewed, Conrad said one of his priorities would be the implementation of a new five-year strategic plan to clarify the district's focus and the work the district needs to do to achieve its goals.

"That should be a focus of my time and energy, because with our current five-year plan expiring, we need to figure out what our priorities are going forward," Conrad said.

Before Conrad was the CFO at the Bedford School District, he worked from 1996-2006 in the Nashua School District as a business administrator.

"I started out as a director of early childhood and head start programs, and then moved into school administration," Conrad said.

Conrad said that after spending a good portion of his adolescence in New Hampshire, he received an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and two post graduate degrees, one from Columbia University in social work and business administration and another from the University of New Hampshire in educational administration.


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