WAKEFIELD — Following discussions among town officials, it has been decided to redefine the schools Facilities Director position currently held by Peter Evangelista for the upcoming school year.

At Tuesday’s school board meeting, members approved the measure.

School board members also approved the hiring of an assistant principal of student services for kindergarten through grade 4.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stephen K. Zrike, schools Business Administrator Michael Pfifferling, Permanent Building Committee and Board of Appeals member Chip Tarbell and the town’s Business Operations Manager Carol Antonelli were all in agreement that the Facilities Director should also oversee transportation for the schools. Pfifferling has overseen transportation needs for the district over the past several years.

“Mr. Evangelista has been encouraged to apply (for the redefined position) if he is interested in the new role,” said Zrike, adding that the responsibilities of his current role are being “elevated.” The exact salary has yet to be determined.

Evangelista’s current annual salary is $85,000.

Zrike also commented that the Early Childhood Center and Galvin Middle School are new assets to the school district that must be overseen.

According to the new job goal summary, the facilities director is an administrator of the Wakefield public schools and is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the school facilities and oversight of its transportation program. The director will organize, administer and lead a comprehensive program of custodial services that provide all students and staff with an academic environment that is safe, clean, attractive and conducive to learning.

The transportation director will also coordinate and oversee an operationally sound and service oriented program.

A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in the maintenance and operation of school buildings along with a general overall knowledge of mechanical and other building systems will be required. Also:

• At least five years of experience in the maintenance of facilities and grounds, preferably for a town or school department;

• Experience with school safety regulations, federal, state and local codes and procurement laws;

• A demonstrated capacity for leadership through successful experience as a supervisor of custodial, safety and maintenance personnel;

• Competence in technology as it relates to facilities management.

The role also will call for facilities budget work, a review of related policies and procedures, record maintenance and collaboration with the Department of Public Works, among others.

The assistant principal of student services job goal is to assist in the administration of the elementary schools and to support the schools in meeting the individualized educational needs of each student in the schools.

This position requires a master’s degree and five years of experience. Candidates also must have held a position of principal or assistant principal and hold Special Education certification.


Dr. Zrike included in the packet given to school board members a list of capital outlay expenses, including $483,990 for IT leases (both town and schools), $5,000 for a school lift gate, $25,000 for ceilings at the Greenwood School, $25,000 for flooring at the Greenwood, $37,500 for Dolbeare School playground rubber replacement and $5,000 for school safety mats for gymnastics.

The expenses will be included in Article 2 and voted on Monday, May 4 at Town Meeting.

During the public comments portion of the school board meeting, parent Darlene Zrikeman raised her concerns about costs associated with full-day kindergarten and the money that will be needed to stay current with technology in classrooms.

She asked, “Where is the money coming from?”

In response, Zrike said that as the budget for Fiscal Year 2016 was being developed he sat with parents and Business Administrator Michael Pfifferling to address concerns and later in the meeting school board member Gregory Liakos echoed Zrike, stating that plenty of opportunity had been given to speak out about the Fiscal Year 2016 budget.

On the topic of curriculum costs, Zrike said that $250,000 a year is valid since it will bring curriculum “back in shape.”

Zrike pointed out that the Common Core Standards are not the driving force to replace curriculum but that the current curriculum has not been updated for a long time.

School board member Janine Cook questioned where the money would come from for full-day kindergarten but Chairman Christopher Callanan reassured her there would be no property tax overrides.


School board members gave their approval for a gift of $3,500 from the Wakefield Co-operative Bank for sponsorship of Parent University.