The Saga of the Superintendent [VIDEO]
On Monday afternoon, Barry Richard will welcome New Bedford Schools Superintendent Dr. Pia Durkin to his show for an in-studio interview.
Her interview will air live on WBSM shortly after Richard’s show begins at noon. There will also be live streaming video of the interview on WBSM’s YouTube channel. You can view it on your smartphone, computer, streaming device, smart TV, Xfinity cable box or wherever you can access the YouTube app.
But before Dr. Durkin’s appearance, let’s get you up to speed with the saga of the Superintendent over the past week.
Dr. Durkin handed in her letter of resignation to Mayor Jon Mitchell and the School Committee last Thursday, citing “major philosophical differences” with both incoming and current members of the School Committee. This came a day after the mayor was non-committal about keeping Durkin once her contract was set to expire after the 2019 school year.
However, as we later found out, School Committee member-elect John Oliveira had also visited Dr. Durkin’s office both Wednesday and Thursday, and the police were called both times. That led to a "No Trepass" order being filed against Oliveira, keeping the upcoming School Committee member from being allowed on New Bedford Schools property.
Oliveira shared his side of the story with WBSM’s Brian Thomas on Friday, along with incumbent School Committee members Chris Cotter and Josh Amaral sharing their thoughts on Dr. Durkin’s resignation later in the show.
Both Oliveira and fellow School Committee member-elect Colleen Dawicki had said on the campaign trail that they would not vote to renew Dr. Durkin’s contract. Cotter had long been critical of the superintendent, in a battle that had gotten personal.
When Richard came on the air following Thomas’ show, he was critical of Oliveira for his behavior and for the School Committee members essentially taking a victory lap when New Bedford taxpayers will once again be funding a nationwide Superintendent search now that Dr. Durkin has resigned. Richard warned Amaral not to get mixed up with the “mob mentality” of the School Committee, to which Cotter, who was listening, took exception.
Cotter later called into Richard’s show to get into it with him.
Also on Friday, all three of WBSM’s talk show hosts wrote opinion pieces on Oliveira’s behavior. You can read each of them below:
Now that you’re all caught up, be sure to tune into Dr. Durkin’s interview Monday afternoon. It’s sure to be interesting.