The as Superintendent of Schools on July 1, 2012 was accompanied by praise from Board School Chair for the legacy that Abbey will leave his successor.
Like former NCHS Principal who announced his June 2011 departure in Nov. 2010, Abbey's news that he will leave at the end of this school year offers the Board of Education time to search for his replacement.
While Board Chair Nick Williams said that it will not be easy to find someone to fill Abbey's shoes, he did outline some of the key attributes qualified candidates must possess.
"We need a superintendent who has a long view, who is farsighted and understanding of the global economy that our kids are going to face," he said. Specifically he said they would be looking for someone who would continue to support technology education and innovation and who recognizes the importance of continuing to grow the language program that Abbey has championed.
When asked if they would be looking exclusively for candidates with superintendent experience he said no. Williams said that while such experience would be helpful, it would not be a prerequisite.
"The superintendent is really the CEO of the school system," he said. What will be important, Williams said, is finding a strong leader and manager of people.
Finding someone, he said, who can communicate in an open and effective manner with all constituencies: students, teachers, administrators, parents, and town officials will also be key.
Williams said that Abbey was crucial in the move to televise BOE meetings on NCTV79, the first town government body to do so. While Abbey recognized the importance of this technology, he was reluctant to do one thing Williams had urged.
"We haven't gotten him to blog. Perhaps the next superintendent will blog --- there's perhaps downsides and upsides to that," he said.