HOLDEN, Mass. — Although Superintendent Thomas Pandiscio submitted his letter of resignation last week, members of the Wachusett Regional School Committee will not consider whether to accept it until their next meeting on Sept. 10.
On Aug. 13, Pandiscio sent an email to the school committee members announcing his resignation, though making it clear that he would stay on as long as he was needed.
The superintendent's current contract would have expired on June 30, 2014, and would have automatically renewed until June 30, 2016.
Though school committee member Norman Plourde, of Sterling, put forward a motion on Monday to give a vote of confidence to Pandiscio and not accept his resignation, the committee was unable to vote on the matter due to a rule preventing action on new business the same night it was presented.
The committee voted 8 to 7 against suspending the bylaws to vote on the motion, with some citing concerns that five members were absent and would not be a part of such a vital decision.
Though the decision would be delayed, members of the school committee still spoke out on the issue.
Member Cynthia Bazinet, of Holden, supported Plourde's motion, and said that the stewardship of the district under Pandiscio "has been and remains professional, capable, and forward thinking.
"The leadership team at the District office has never once wavered in its commitment to the students of the region, while trying to keep this tenuous financial ship afloat," she added. "It is in the best interests of the District’s students that Dr. Pandiscio remain in his position as Superintendent for the duration of his contract."
Member Stacey Jackson offered a counter-motion to hold a disciplinary hearing for the superintendent, adding that it was atrocious that reasonable questions from school committee members were often met with belittling responses from Pandiscio.
Selectman Bob Lavigne was in attendance at the meeting, and said that he believed the board should have a full discussion with as many members as they can get to discuss what is in the best interest of the board.
"But in the end, they also need to talk to Dr. Pandiscio and see if he actually wants to stay or not," he said.
While he saw the committee was "unfortunately very fractured" by the situation, he hoped that members could find a way to work together toward the best interest of the kids and the district.
"I think Chairman [Duncan] Leith said it best when he said we still have a great school district that's a destination for a lot of families, regardless of what's going on right now, and it's only going to get better if everyone works for the same goal — and that goes for the school committee, the selectboards, the parents, and everyone."