By Carol Britton Meyer
Dr. Gary Maestas was recently named Hingham Public Schools interim superintendent of schools -- replacing Paul Austin, who resigned effective July 30.
But it's not "official" yet, School Committee Chair Kerry Ni explained at a recent School Committee meeting.
That's because although the Committee's intent was to enter into contract and salary negotiations with Maestas for a one-year time period, because he is retired and drawing a pension, Maestas was required to apply for a "Critical Shortage Waiver" from the state. Maestas retired after serving as Plymouth Public Schools Supt. of Schools from 2008 to 2020.
State law provides for "critical shortage" waivers that permit a school district to employ a retired educator beyond his or her usual earning limits, in certain circumstances. "We're expecting an answer very soon," Ni said.
Because there's important business to take care of -- including the eventual hiring of two new elementary principals to replace recently-resigned former Foster School
Principal Beth Wilcox and former East School Principal Anthony Keady -- who both accepted positions with the Duxbury Public Schools -- the School Committee named HPS Asst. Supt. of Schools Jamie LaBillois to serve as acting superintendent until the waiver is granted.
"This will enable us to move forward as a district," Ni said.