Less than two years after succeeding Dale Hanley as Southbridge School Superintendent, Eric Ely is apparently seeking greener pastures.
According to Knoxnews.com, Mr. Ely is among ten semifinalists for Director of the Roane County school district in Tennessee.
According to the report published on March 29 at 9 pm, “[Wayne Qualls, hired to oversee the search] said the board will conduct interviews April 12-13 and April 26-27 to further trim the list, and will likely vote in early May on the successor to Dr. Toni McGriff, who is retiring June 30 as head of the 7,500-student school system.”
Mr. Ely was hired by Southbridge in July of 2010. According to an article in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette at the time, “Mr. Ely had come under fire in Schenectady after the recent sentencing of former school department Facilities Manager Steven Raucci. Mr. Ely is accused of tipping off Mr. Raucci to a multi-county investigation against him. Mr. Raucci was recently convicted of placing bombs on homes and vehicles to intimidate the owners. According to a published report, some of his victims were school employees he had argued with about school issues.
Mr. Ely has said the reports that he tipped off Mr. Raucci were inaccurate.”
A departure by Mr. Ely at this time would be particularly inopportune. Not only is the district preparing to open a new multimillion dollar middle/high school, it is also undergoing a realignment of its elementary schools. There is also the ongoing controversy surrounding the district’s compliance with the state on its accelerated improvement plan.