It’s been known for a while that Worcester’s Interim Superintendent Dr. Deirdre Loughlin – brought out of semi-retirement for the position – wasn’t holding any current state educational licenses when she took the position.
At last week’s School Committee meeting, Loughlin was officially listed among current school department employees working under a waiver, or without current active licensing.
Loughlin wasn’t out of line for taking an interim post without a current license. According to JC Considine, the External Relations Coordinator for the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, “a school district may appoint as an acting superintendent an individual who is not licensed as a superintendent, provided that the appointment is temporary, e.g., less than one school year.”
But questions have arisen over Loughlin’s claims that she was once certified as a superintendent. On her resume, Dr. Loughlin lists “superintendent” under a heading that reads “Massachusetts Certifications – 1999.” Also listed are Administrator Special Education, Supervisor/Director, School Psychologist, Elementary Principal, Guidance Director, Guidance Counselor, and Elementary Teacher.
But according to state officials, not only is Loughlin not currently licensed, she has never been licensed as a superintendent.
“She has never held a license as a Superintendent,” writes Considine in an email. “She does have a supervisor/director license that was due for renewal back in 2004.” Supervisor/director licenses are generally for administrators overseeing departments or programs.
In response to allegations she never was fully certified, Loughlin writes that she was always up front about her current status. “When I was asked to take the position of Interim, I informed the school committee that I had let all my certificates expire as I was retired for six years. The school committee informed me that since I was only going to be an interim from September 15th until February 1, I did not to activate any certifications. If I was asked to stay more than a year, I would have been happy to activate any certifications.”
As for her previous status, Loughlin writes, “When I was a student for my doctorate in the 1980’s our class participated in all requirements for Principal, Supervisor and Superintendents.”
She also says that “…to apply for an administrative position, usually the posting for the job will state that the person applying must be certified or is certifiable for the position.”
Mayor Konnie Lukes, who serves as head of the School Committee, says the group “knew [Loughlin] was uncertified when we hired her.”
“It was public. We all voted on it. We all knew it. It wasn’t behind the scenes. Anyone on the school committee could have raised it at that time.”
“Anyone could have brought it up…anyone could have stopped it.”
Did Lukes know Loughlin had never held a Superintendent’s license?
“I knew she had other certifications.”