Three finalists have been selected in the contest to replace James O'Brien as superintendent of the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School.

The GNB Voc-Tech School Committee announced that Dr. Susan J. Sylvia, Michael Watson, and Warley Williams III were selected from a field of 11 applicants to move on to the finalist round.

The announcement came after the school committee decided to broaden the search beyond just internal applicants and to extend the deadline to Oct. 30. Silvia and Watson were chosen from the internal search, and Williams, who previously worked at GNBVT, applied from out-of-district.

Silvia is now chair of the English department at GNBVT and held leadership positions at the school for more than a decade. Watson is academic principal at GNBVT and previously taught history at the school. Williams is principal of the Keith Middle School in New Bedford and previously was principal at the Whaling City Alternative School and an assistant principal at GNBVT.

The previous internal-only search had drawn criticism from the Greater New Bedford Educators Union and others who signed an online petition seeking a broader pool of applicants.

The final interviews will be conducted publicly and may be watched on the GNBVTHS YouTube channel. The event is set for Nov. 21 at 10 a.m.

O'Brien, who is retiring, will hold the superintendent's position until July 2021.

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