After publicly interviewing three candidates and a brief discussion Saturday afternoon, the Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School School Committee selected James O'Brien as the school's next Superintendent-Director. 

O'Brien is currently Assistant Principal and Dean of Freshmen. He has worked at the school for 30 years and said he is greatly honored to be selected for the position.

"What an honor to represent the student body here at Voc-Tech," O'Brien said after receiving hugs, handshakes and congratulations from friends and colleagues. "Like I mentioned to the crowd, it's going to take a village to build on the great things going on here and in the school. With the help of the community, faculty, staff and the students, we'll put our best foot forward."

O'Brien was selected over two other candidates that made it to the final round: Robert Watt, principle for Career and Technical Education at GNB Voc-Tech, and Robert Dutch, Superintendent-Director at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School District.

School Committee Chairman Fred Toomey said he's known O'Brien since he was an instructor at the school and his dedication to his job and to the students made him the right choice for the job.

"Having known Mr. O'Brien from when he was a student here, I felt he had a lot of passion and compassion to do the job,"  Toomey said.

Many of the interview questions revolved around recent allegations of discrimination by some of the school's administration and staff. O'Brien plans to implement 3rd-party surveying in order to catch those issues before they become major problems, as well as use existing relationships to create a more welcoming culture for students and staff.

"I'm going to build on my relationships, both within the school and within the community, to outreach and to get the best answers for what's best for our students," O'Brien said.

O'Brien will replace current Superintendent-Director Linda Enos, who is leaving the school later this month.

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