The Board of Education in Weston has appointed Dr. William McKersie as the new superintendent of schools. McKersie served as Greenwich Public Schools superintendent since 2012.
Dr. McKersie, of the Cos Cob section of Greenwich, was unanimously appointed as Weston Superintendent on Thursday during a special meeting of the school board. He will assume the office this summer and his contract begins in the 2016-17 school year. He will replace Dr. Colleen Palmer, who is leaving Weston to become the Superintendent of Westport Public Schools.
“It is clear that Dr. McKersie’s expertise in supporting academic excellence, his belief in and emphasis on the whole child, his expectations for in-depth professional development and teacher support, and his respectful and collegial dialogue with all stakeholders, made this a great match for us,” said Weston Board of Education Chair Ellen Uzenoff. “We are very excited to introduce him to all in the community in the near future, and welcome him enthusiastically to Weston.”
In Weston, Dr. McKersie will have a considerably smaller district, with a total enrollment of about 2,400 students compared to nearly 9,000 students in Greenwich.
According to a statement released by Greenwich Schools, McKersie inherits a school district with high expectations of continued academic success. All Weston schools have excellent reputations, including Weston High School, which U.S. News and World Report named as a Gold Medal School and the best public non-magnet high school in Connecticut.
“Weston is exceptionally proud of its school district and continually sets very high expectations for every student to achieve his or her personal and academic best,” Mrs. Uzenoff said. “In establishing our needs, and developing our vision for the future, all stakeholders had input into what the best candidate would bring to the district. Dr. McKersie met every exemplar that we established for our new leader.”
Dr. McKersie’s selection culminates a competitive hiring process to find Dr. Palmer’s replacement. The school board hired Trumbull-based Cooperative Educational Services (C.E.S.) to conduct the search for a new superintendent. During the research phase of the search process, the C.E.S. search consultant conducted community focus groups and administered an online survey to assess the leadership attributes and personal qualities that the community desired for the next Weston superintendent. Twelve candidates submitted applications for the position, with Dr. McKersie emerging as the finalist in April.
Dr. McKersie’s educational career spans 35 years in many different levels, including public and private schools, higher education, and work for the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to becoming superintendent in Greenwich, he served as Associate Superintendent for Academic Excellence for the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston from 2008-12. In 2010, he was a peer reviewer for the federal Race to the Top Grant Competition, and from 2004-08, Dr. McKersie was the Harvard Graduate School of Education Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations. Outside of New England, he has served educational administrative positions in Chicago and Cleveland.
He earned his Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in 1997, his Master’s degree in education from Harvard in 1986, and his Bachelor’s degree in social psychology from Tufts University in 1981. Dr. McKersie has several published works, has coached several sports including girls basketball and boys soccer, and has been civically involved in every community where he has lived and worked.