Hopkinton superintendent plans to step down after 2020-21 term

  • Superintendent Steven Chamberlin gives his address during the 2017 Hopkinton High School graduation. Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 7/7/2020 4:54:26 PM

Hopkinton School Board has started its search for a new superintendent to replace Steven Chamberlin, who will retire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

In an email to the school community last week, Chamberlin wrote that there was a “brief discussion” of extending his current three-year contract, but “after significant reflection, it seemed time for a change – the right time for me and the right time for the district.”  Chamberlin has been superintendent since 2009.  

“There will be time for me to appropriately share my gratitude to this community, but for now, a simple thank you,” he wrote. “Thank you for your support during my extraordinary journey in the Hopkinton School District.”

The school board plans to hire a consulting firm this summer to help search for a new superintendent. Board members Seth Aframe and Rob Nadeau will serve on a search committee. Once the consultants have been hired, Aframe said that the committee hopes to include voices from Hopkinton students, faculty, and community members as they evaluate candidates.

The search commences amid ongoing struggles with the school district budget, which was twice rejected by taxpayers during drive-through voting. School officials have been working to cut $500,000 in proposed expenses in order to operate at last year’s funding level, should a third try to pass a budget fail.

During Thursday’s meeting, the school board voted unanimously in favor of a new budget of $20.9 million, which would represent a 1.8% increase to FY 2020’s budget.

That budget will go to voters on Aug. 15.

If voters reject the budget again in August, the district will have to revert to the flat budget, which would involve cuts, including cuts to athletics and eliminating a math support specialist and an alcohol prevention program.

The working list of proposed budget cuts includes eliminating most of woodworking classes and significantly reduce art in middle and high school and curtail music-playing opportunities for middle schoolers. In addition, some high school English and science classes would be eliminated along with field trips, an independent studies program, and a proposed library media assistant.

The district has also proposed cutting football, golf and alpine skiing at the high school level for a savings of $14,289. Also proposed was eliminating sports entirely at the middle school level for a reduction of $42,778.

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