School Committee selects David Fleishman as interim superintendent


Credit: Genevieve Morrison

Wayland School Committee members vote to select former Newton Superintendent David Fleishman as Wayland’s interim superintendent.

Genevieve Morrison

The Wayland School Committee has selected an interim superintendent, following their February decision to place former Superintendent Omar Easy on paid administrative leave, and Acting Superintendent Parry Graham’s hiring as superintendent at Lincoln Public Schools. It has selected David Fleishman, former Newton Public School superintendent, to serve a one-year term in this role.

Fleishman has 12 years of experience as superintendent in Newton Public Schools, but most recently, he served as the CEO of Jewish Vocational Service, a non-profit for adult education and workforce development.

There were five candidates for the position, Lincoln-Sudbury Superintendent Bella Wong, Natick Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Tim Luff, former Stoneham Public Schools Superintendent John Macero and Weston Public Schools Superintendent Midge Connolly.

Macero withdrew his application following his interview for presently unclear reasons. School Committee Member Erin Gibbons spoke about this removal during Friday’s meeting.

“People were attempting to interfere and and cause issues with this process from our public directly,” Gibbons said. “It’s really disheartening that potential future candidates for our School Committee would insert themselves into something improper like that.”

The School Committee interviewed candidates publicly on Monday, April 10 and Tuesday, April 11. It announced Fleishman as its choice for the job on Friday, April 14, three days after his interview.

In their Friday meeting, School Committee members discussed the four remaining candidates, ultimately deciding in favor of Fleishman. They commended aspects of his resume and interview like experience, budget expertise, racial awareness and relationship-building with teachers.

“It would be great for us to have the kind of experience he has,” Vice Chair Ellen Grieco said.

Members also brought up concerns from his interview, stating that his experience in Newton, a district of roughly 12,000 students, may not align with a small community like Wayland. Further, some members had questions about how much Fleishman would prioritize the wellbeing of teachers versus students. However, School Committee members acknowledged that these doubts were resolved after discussions with Fleishman’s references.

“They said that he definitely focuses on what’s best for students, but that the educators need the tools that they need to do their work, so it’s really important that they’re taken care of,” Member Jeanne Downs said.

Committee members voted unanimously to enter contract negotiations with Fleishman. Assuming Fleishman and the School Committee reach a contract, he is set to begin his role as interim superintendent July 1.