Published in the July 21, 2015 edition


WAKEFIELD — Heating fuel for Wakefield’s schools this past winter — both oil and natural gas — was over budget by $93,272 due to the excessive and relentless cold. Schools’ Business Administrator Michael Pfifferling said that a total of $513,551 was spent of a budgeted $420,279.

Pfifferling apprised school board members of this deficit plus others in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget as of June 30 at their Tuesday, July 14 meeting.

In May, Pfifferling reported that the only schools that were not in heating fuel shortfalls were the Greenwood, Walton and Woodville elementary schools.

Wakefield Memorial High School had a shortfall of $36,644, The Galvin Middle School $24,766 and the Dolbeare School $2,355.

The Galvin Middle School and Walton School are both heated by oil and a portion of the high school also uses oil. The majority of the Greenwood School is heated by natural gas.

Over the winter months this year, the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department imposed a 20 percent fuel hike reflecting market prices for customers who heat by natural gas. The increase was across the board and also affected schools, WMGLD Assistant General Manager Eugene Sullivan said at the time.

Heating fuel for Fiscal Year 2016 has been budgeted at $517,000 to prepare for any further price increases and possibly more record temperatures.

Other budget categories where overspending occurred include:

• Student transportation $48,854

• SPED tuition $53,555

• Extraordinary maintenance $$24,942, including work at the Charbonneau Field House and an intercom system needed at the Early Childhood Center on Paul Avenue

• Other tuition $18,743

• Contracted services $20,300

• Salaries/wages/personal services $8,438

• Professional expenditures $3,741

• Electricity $3,286

• Energy performance contracts $2,139

Pfifferling said that $21,217 would be given back to the town.

He also noted that Fiscal Year 2015 ended with a $40,000 surplus in the food services program, thanks in no small part to the good work of Director Kristen Morello.

“Some kitchen equipment is needed,” said Pfifferling. The surplus will be applied to any associated expenses.

Members gave their unanimous approval for the transfer of funds to cover the deficits.


Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kim Smith has launched a search for an Assistant Superintendent with a posted annual salary of between $110,000 and $140,000.

According to the job description, Smith’s second-in-command will provide vision, leadership, management and oversight in curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, educator evaluation, district instructional coaching model, teacher leadership teams, Titles I and IIA and personnel.

The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree (doctorate preferred) in educational leadership or curriculum, a combined eight years of teaching and/or administrative experience and hold a Massachusetts license as a Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent.

Interim Assistant Superintendent Dr. Sandra Halloran has been appointed to chair the Interview Committee, members of which will be finalized this week.

The closing date for application submittal is Thursday, July 30, with scheduled interviews to follow on Wednesday, Aug. 5 and Thursday, Aug. 6. Interviews for finalists will take place during the week of Aug. 10, followed by reference checks.

The appointment will be made on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

In the meantime, Dr. Smith is welcoming members of the community to meet with her to discuss educational matters on Friday mornings between 8 and 10 from Friday, Aug. 7 through Friday, Sept. 4.

To schedule an appointment, call Karen Fitzpatrick at 781-246-6400 Ext. 6939.