Curriculum Director Janice Gauthier was unanimously chosen Monday night to be the interim superintendent of schools in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment against former Supt. Fred Foresteire, who was put on administrative leave.
The School Committee voted 9-0 on Monday night to put Gauthier in place.
Gauthier said it was an honor, and praised the work that Foresteire had done during his tenure.
“I want to thank you for putting your confidence in me and it’s a tall order,” she said. “There are big boots to fill. If I only fill the big toe of that boot that Mr. Foresteire set up, then we’re doing something right. I want to thank the teachers for their confidence in me as well.”
School Committeeman Frank Parker said he thought Gauthier was a great choice to lead the schools through a transition.
“I think Mrs. Gauthier is a great choice to guide us through this time,” he said. “She’s been with us for 48 years. She’s certified, confident, intelligent and full of grace. A number of years ago we had a situation where we needed someone to be a principal at the old high school. Mrs. Gauthier stepped up to the plate. She was the acting principal and still retained her director’s role. She took us through that time and that transition. I’m very, very proud to see her get the nomination. I support her wholeheartedly.”
Lost in the shuffle was the fact that Assistant Superintendents Charlie Obremsky and Kevin Shaw were not chosen, with both being the most likely candidates and the most closely associated with the leadership of the School Department.
No mention was given to why they were not chosen, nor did either of them speak on the issue.
Gauthier said she would do her best to move the schools forward.
“It certainly is an honor for me to act as interim superintendent,” she said. “The plan moving forward is to do business as usual. Tomorrow, we’ll be right back to work and hit it hard and move our kids along. That’s why we’re here; we’re here for the kids and we’re going to do our best. Anyone who knows me also knows that my door is always open. If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me…”
Gauthier said her top priority would be to move forward with the reorganization of the high school into separate academies, something that is “dear to her heart.”
Her appointment was effective immediately.
Gauthier was born in Everett down the Line on Lower Broadway, but her family moved to Mt. Washington Street when she was four. She attended Our Lady of Grace Elementary School, and then Immaculate Conception High School in Revere. She went to college at Boston State and Cambridge College and has her CAGS certification in administration.
Gauthier came to the Everett Public Schools in 1971 and was a middle school English teacher there for 18 years. After that, she transitioned to the old Everett High School and taught for 10 years there, establishing a theatre collaboration with the Huntington Theatre Company. They also did an oral history project for Everett senior citizens.
In 1988, she became head of the English Department, and was there for six years before she became director of curriculum. At one point, she was the director of curriculum and also the interim principal at Everett High.
Now, she is in the same situation as director of curriculum and interim superintendent.