Outgoing Sandwich School Superintendent Slams School Committee Leadership

PHOTO COURTESY: SandwichSchoolNews.com

SANDWICH – Outgoing Sandwich School Superintendent Dr. Richard Canfield delivered a stinging criticism aimed at School Committee Chairwoman Nancy Crossman Wednesday night.

In a surprise move at the end of the school committee meeting, Canfield read a statement that said he had reached a point where he “could no longer lead” in the way he had in his first 4 years.

“I do not feel that I’ve been respected after all of the effort. And to a large extent, despite my offers of help, I’ve been somewhat marginalized,” he said.

Canfield went on to say that he could no longer be an effective match for the school committee’s leadership.

Canfield said that was the sole reason for his departure.

“It became apparent to me that I could not be as effective and had become the wrong match for the committee leadership,” said Canfield.

He did praise the staff and students of the school system, calling it “as good” as any he has worked with in his 46 year career.

Canfield said he would be moving up his last day on the job to June 23 from June 30, but will remain available to the district until June 30 for any questions.

Canfield said he would do his best to ensure a seamless transition for the next superintendent. He also said he would only have good words to say about the school district in the future.

Canfield said he decided to make the statement because there had been too many questions about why he was really leaving. He assured it had nothing to do with his health.

After Canfield’s statement, Crossman said she was not expecting to hear those comments.

“I am disappointed in Dr. Canfield’s statement as anyone who knows me understands how hard I have worked to build a positive, professional relationship. The school committee and the Superintendent should work collaboratively to provide the best education possible for our students while being cognizant of tax implications,” Crossman said in a statement issued to the CapeCod.com NewsCenter.

She said his decision to leave was solely his own.

“The school committee has been doing the job it was elected to do…advocate for the students, and ask questions to make informed decisions about the budget and programs, said Crossman.

Canfield was hired in 2011 after the controversial departure of Mary Ellen Johnson.

During his tenure, he created the new STEM Academy that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math.

Canfield also oversaw the closure of the Henry T. Wing School amid a declining enrollment that has impacted many Cape Cod school districts.

He was a finalist for a superintendent job in Idaho two years ago, but did not get the position.

Sandwich has had three superintendents in the past 10 years.

By MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com News Director

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