READING - School Committee Chair Elaine Webb has issued the following statement regarding the leave of absence by Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Doherty. Doherty announced at the end of the School Committee meeting June 27, that he would be taking a leave of absence starting June 28.

As you may have heard, our Superintendent, Dr. John Doherty, is taking a temporary leave of absence for personal and family reasons. During this time period, staff from the central office will take on additional responsibilities to cover for Dr. Doherty during his leave. To that end, there is no acting or interim Superintendent; our central office team will continue to have the same functional responsibilities they currently have and clarified below.

Linda Engelson, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent will continue in her role to address general school or district level questions or act as a starting point to properly route an inquiry or concern. As always, the building-based administrators will address school specific issues.

Our Chief Financial Officer Gail Dowd will continue to be responsible for anything in the areas of operations, finance, capital projects, facilities, technology, and food service.

Our Assistant Superintendent Chris Kelley will be responsible for all student issues (not involving Special Education), and any issues involving teaching and learning in the district.

Dr. Jennifer Stys, our incoming Director of Student Services, will have primary responsibility in the areas of special education, health services and homeless and foster care issues. We are grateful to our Interim Director of Student Services Sharon Stewart, who will continue to provide mentoring to Dr. Stys as she transitions to this new role in the Reading Public Schools.

Jenn Bove, our Human Resources Administrator will continue her excellent work in the Human Resources area.

Over the summer, the School Committee will maintain full transparency with both the Reading Public School staff and parent community with any further updates or developments. In the event this leave extends beyond the summer, the School Committee will review this approach.

In the meantime, we are extremely grateful for the strength of our Central Office Team, our Building Principals, our teachers and all staff of the Reading Public Schools. We have full faith that they will continue to move the Reading Public Schools forward in a positive direction over the summer, as we prepare to begin the 2019-2020 school year at the end of August.

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