The Wrentham School Committee voted unanimously on Monday to appoint Dr. Christopher Martes as interim superintendent of schools.
The decision, coming about a month after the announcement from current superintendent Jeff Marsden that he will be moving to the Medfield School District, was discussed at length on Monday.
The committee interviewed Martes and two other candidates, former Mansfield superintendent John Moretti and former Plainville superintendent Michael Malone. Committee members agreed all the candidates were amazing and had a lot to offer the district, but felt Martes was the best fit.
“We have three spectacular candidates, we’re in a no lose situation here,” committee chair Edward Goddard said.
Goddard added he felt Martes specifically catered to the district’s current situation, as he helped the Norton district to find its current permanent superintendent appointee Joseph Baeta.
“I like the fact that he’s done the interim position for a couple of years,” Goddard said. “I think his even-keel approach is very similar to Jeff [Marsden]. I’m not surprised to hear he was a mentor to Jeff.”
Committee member Tracey Murphy said she appreciated his dedication to being visible in the Norton district, both inside and outside the office.
“I think he seemed to stress the importance of having a presence in the schools,” she said. “I think Jeff has a presence and I think the community really appreciates that.”
Committee member Michelle Rouse said she felt Martes would provide a smooth transition for the schools, keeping in step with Wrentham’s current needs and goals.
“I think he would maintain that consistency and leadership going forward,” she said. “He said students are his number one priority, and for me that was an overwhelming comment to the consistency that should continue.”
Martes said for himself he feels he would be a good fit for Wrentham, but only if the committee agreed.
“You folks need to see if I’m a good fit,” he said. “I like interim work, I bring a set of skills and I’ve that I do like doing this work. Mainly because I can take my skills and experience and come in and see things others may not see. Wrentham is an interesting place. I started in elementary education, and that is intriguing to me to come back to it. This would be interesting and challenging for me to go back to my roots.”
The committee was particularly impressed with Martes’ experience in facility management, as the superintendent has been the one to handle such problems in the past. Martes oversaw renovations in the Medfield, Framingham and Norton districts.
Martes was appointed on the condition of successful contract negotiations and after passing a background check.