After a lengthy candidate search for an assistant principal to replace Neal Weaver at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, school officials have opted to hire an interim candidate internally.

Matt Mulowski, an English and English as a second language [ESL] teacher at the high school, as well as the director of the high school’s alternative STAR Program, will act as the temporary assistant principal for the coming year. He began working yesterday.

“He’s been at the school for a number of years so he knows a lot of the kids and the staff,” said Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss. “He’s been coordinating the STAR program, which is one of our programs for kids with some difficulty, and done a good job of that. He is good with interpersonal relations, he knows a lot of the kids and relates to them. I see him as a detail person, and as an interim appointment, he made some sense.”

Since Mr. Weaver announced that he would not be seeking a contract renewal when his three-year contract expired in July, school officials have twice advertised for the position. “We went out once, had lots of people show interest, narrowed it to a small field, and didn’t think any of them were appropriate,” said Mr. Weiss. The second round of advertising did not draw as many applicants, “and again we were not overjoyed with the candidates,” said Mr. Weiss.

At that point, Mr. Weiss said that he and high school principal Stephen Nixon decided together that with the start of the new school year quickly approaching, it was time to secure a candidate for the position. “So we started looking within the school and fell upon Matt Mulowski.”

Mr. Weiss said that the appointment was made with the idea that the position will be temporary for Mr. Mulowski, and the school will readvertise for a new assistant principal next spring. “If [Mr. Mulowski] is interested, we would certainly consider him, but that wasn’t part of our thinking. This was a stop-gap measure, if you will, for the year,” he said.

Mr. Weiss said yesterday that he expects to have a new principal in place at the Oak Bluffs school for the start of the school year to replace Laury Binney, who announced last month that he would resign after 14 years as principal.

Mr. Weiss said he hopes to have a candidate selected for the position by the end of the week.

“We have posted the position, and I’m talking with some folks who are on Island, rather than doing an intergalactic search, because really we don’t have the time,” said Mr. Weiss. “I’m looking for some people on Island that I can go to, convince them to apply and then move forward.”

When he announced his resignation, Mr. Binney said that he would continue as principal until a replacement had been found, and would be willing to work for several months at the beginning of the next school year.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” said Mr. Weiss. “My plan is to have the new principal, whoever that person is, in place for the opening of school.”

Unlike the assistant principal position at the high school, Mr. Weiss said he hopes to hire a permanent principal for the Oak Bluffs School. “Oak Bluffs can’t be kind of up in the air for a year. They really need to know who the principal is going to be,” he said. “We really need somebody who is going to be at the building three, five years, or something like that, so there’s stability, and the transition is done once and not again.”