Sara Ahern is Tapped to lead Barnstable as Superintendent


Photo by Bronwen Walsh//Barnstable Patriot

Sara Ahern the next superintendent for Barnstable Public Schools.

Eric Arabadzhiev, Staff Writer

The verdict is in: Sara Ahern will be the next leader of Barnstable Public Schools as Superintendent. She is currently the Superintendent of Franklin Public Schools, and will succeed Meg Mayo-Brown, who she ran against six years prior for the same position.

Mayo-Brown announced this fall that she would be leaving the Barnstable school district at the end of this school year. Ahern beat out fellow finalists Monomy Regional Superintendent Scott Carpenter, and Brockton Chief Academic Officer June Saba-Maguire.

The three finalists visited Barnstable schools in early January, and spoke with the students, principals and teachers. Then, all were interviewed in front of the School Committee on January 12. In a three to one vote, Ahern was chosen.

Only two members were not in favor of Ahern, newly elected Peter Goode, voted no, and Joe Nystrom, abstained. Joe Nystrom and Kathy Bent led the Superintendent Search Subcommittee. Nystrom is currently a math teacher at Monomoy Regional High School.

Bent, the chairwoman of the subcommitte said, “My final decision was based on the feedback I received.  An overwhelming majority of the feedback — especially from those who met the candidates during the Barnstable site visits — communicated that Sara Ahern seemed to be the best fit for Barnstable.”

Barnstable’s next superintendent also recognized this unique fit.

“What really drew me to Barnstable was the size and diversity of the district, and I definitely hope that it becomes a long term relationship,” said Ahern.

She is leaving Franklin after only four years and said in an email to Franklin staff after the decision was made, “Please know how mixed my feelings are. I am very excited about this personal and professional opportunity. On the other hand, I am already mourning a departure from Franklin.”

Ahern has homes both in Dennis and Franklin, and said she split her time between each, so she is very familiar with the Barnstable area. Ahern also mentioned that Franklin and Barnstable are also very similar in terms of size and diversity, which will help to make the transition smoother.

She already has some new ideas for Barnstable, saying at her school committee interview “One of the things in my mind is how can we introduce world language to younger grades in order to provide that curriculum that families are looking for.” She also spoke about ways she plans to combat one of Barnstable’s most pressing issues: student retention.

“Feedback from the broader Barnstable community also placed her as the top candidate which is why I nominated and voted for Dr. Ahern,” said Bent.

Sara Ahern is Tapped to lead Barnstable as Superintendent

Ahern accepted the offer by phone right after the vote, and says that she is excited for this new opportunity.