Manchester’s assistant superintendent to leaveBy BILL SMITH
New Hampshire Union Leader
May 12. 2013 9:54PM
MANCHESTER — As the Board of School Committee continues its search for a new superintendent for the Manchester schools, another top ranking administrator has announced that he’s leaving the district.
Assistant Superintendent Michael Tursi, who oversees curriculum and instruction in the district, announced in an email Friday that he will leave the Manchester district by July 1 to become a superintendent elsewhere.
The departure of Tursi is not unexpected. He was been publicly identified as a candidate for the since-filled superintendent position in School Administrative Unit 44 in Northwoods a few months ago.
Tursi’s departure comes as Superintendent Thomas Brennan prepares to leave at the end of June.
The school board is currently conducting its second superintendent search since Brennan announced his decision to step down.
The first search yielded three finalists for the post, but after interviews the board decided to begin the search again. The second search has the goal of selecting Brennan’s successor by June 8.
Committee vice-chairman Dave Gelinas says the fact that two of the the top three administrators in the district are leaving as of July 1 changes the dynamic of the search.
“I would find it very, very difficult for a new person not familiar with Manchester and our district to be able to come in and take over and do what they have to do with the number two man gone and being new to the district,” Gelinas said. “With our assistant superintendent leaving, it places us in a position where we have to ask ourselves quite a few more questions about what direction we have to take.”
But Gelinas said it is too early to think about appointing an interim superintendent from within the district, at least until the board knows what candidates will be recommended in the search.
The first search is believed to have included at least one school district employee.
Tursi, Assistant Superintendent Karen Burkush and district Finance Director Karen Francis were caught up in a school board controversy over whether to offer them new contracts late last year.
Burkush is in charge of student services in the district.
When he took the job in Manchester, Tursi had been principal of Barrington Middle School for several years, and previously served as assistant principal and a science teacher in Plymouth.
Some committee members preferred to let a new superintendent make a decision on assistants. But the existing agreements provided that contracts were automatically renewed if no new contract was offered by Jan. 1 and the board did not send the three notices that they were not renewed.
The board ultimately renewed the three contracts for the 2013-14 school year.