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Published: Monday, 10/11/2010

White returns to top post at Bedford schools for now

TEMPERANCE - Nearly 16 months after retiring, former Superintendent Jon White has returned to Bedford Public Schools, albeit temporarily.

At the board's request, Mr. White stepped in to pinch-hit for Superintendent Ted Magrum, who is on medical leave until Nov. 1.

Under a contract approved Monday, Mr. White will work four days a week as "provisional acting superintendent" until Mr. Magrum returns. He will be paid $350 a day.

"Thank you for your confidence. I don't want to be your superintendent, but I do want to help," he told board members. "I am looking forward to this opportunity."

Mr. White, 63, retired June 30, 2009, after 40 years with the district. Mr. Magrum, then an assistant superintendent of finance and operations, was elevated to superintendent in October after a search that lasted several months.

"I think this is the right thing for the board to do for the district," Kim Hooper, board trustee, said.

Mr. White was an interim superintendent before he was hired in 2005.

His resume with the district includes assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, assistant superintendent for instruction and student services, high school principal, and dean of students at the high school, and special education teacher.

In response to a question from a board member about the financial aspects of the temporary hiring, Josh Dyer, the district's chief financial officer, said he anticipates little, if any, impact on district finances. "But if it turns out to be long-term, we would want to make some adjustments. Time will tell," he said.

Mr. White, who was at the 7 a.m. special board meeting, said he was ready to meet with Mr. Dyer and Jonathan Whan, the newly named assistant superintendent of instruction and student services. "I thought a lot about doing this. I thought about what I could do to support [the Board of Education]," Mr. White said. "I am ready to be brought up to speed."

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