Dr. Robert Shaps Selected as New Superintendent
On December 20, 2023, the ORCSD School Board announced that Dr. Robert Shaps had been selected as new superintendent of the Oyster River Cooperative School District.
Dr. Shaps will start on July 1, 2024. He will succeed Superintendent Dr. James C. Morse Sr., who is retiring in June 2024 after 12 years of dedicated service to the Oyster River community.
The full press release is available here.
Superintendent Dr. James Morse, School Board members, and Dr. Robert Shaps.
Left to right: Superintendent Morse, Vice-Chair Matthew Bacon, Heather Smith, Thomas Newkirk, Dr. Robert Shaps, Giana Gelsey, Brian Cisneros, Daniel Klein, and Chair Denise Day.
For additional information, please select from the following topics below.
Thank you for your feedback!
The ORCSD School Board Superintendent Search Committee would like to thank all staff, students, parents, guardians, and community members who completed focus group surveys and/or attended a focus group in September 2023. The committee and NESDEC received feedback from 50 focus group participants and 254 survey completions.
The information was analyzed to create a candidate profile, which was used by the Screening Committee to determine candidate assessment methods. Interviews took place in November 2023.
The School Board appointed a Screening Committee comprised of individuals from different district stakeholder groups, including administrators, staff, parents, and community. These appointments took place in October 2023.
The Screening Committee was charged with:
Reviewing all applications received for the position
Selecting the applicants for first interviews, which will occur in November
Recommending candidates for further consideration by the School Board
The Screening Committee used the Candidate Profile developed from the focus group & online survey data to develop interview questions & candidate assessment metrics.
On October 18, 2023, the School Board affirmed the following Screening Committee members:
School Board Members: Heather Smith, Brian Cisneros, and Tom Newkirk
District Liaison: Catherine Plourde, Director of Student Services
SAU Support Staff: Wendy DiFruscio, Superintendent Executive Assistant
Building Administrator: Rebecca Noe, High School Principal
SAU Director: Rachael Blansett, DEIJ Director
Teachers: Carina Dolcino, Kristen Hughes, and Shawn Kelly
Support Staff: Tyler Patrai, Mast Way Kindergarten Paraeducator
Student: Elise Bacon
Parents: Debby Curran and Kelly Ickes
Community Member: Todd Selig, Town of Durham Administrator
Three candidates for the superintendent position visited the Oyster River Cooperative School District between November 30 and December 4, 2023, and the School Board provided opportunities for community members to meet the candidates.
Staff, students, parents, guardians and community members were also invited to complete candidate surveys to provide feedback, which were reviewed with careful consideration by the Screening Committee prior to making a hiring decision.
Search Process Timeline
To view the ORCSD School Board Letter published August 17, 2023, please click on the link below.