NEW MILFORD — Three school board members have started looking for an interim superintendent to replace Superintendent Joshua Smith when he leaves the district to lead Region 15.

Angela Chastain, Eileen Monaghan and Wendy Faulenbach were appointed to the ad hoc search committee at a recent special meeting. The trio volunteered for the task, Board of Education Chairman David Lawson said.

The committee is charged with recommending a candidate or candidates for the interim position to the full board. The number of suggestions will be based on the quality of the candidates who apply, Lawson said.

“It depends on how they view the candidates,” Lawson said. “The ad hoc committee has a lot of latitude, depending on the applicants.”

The panel will work with the district’s Human Resources Department, which has a list of candidates for review.

Once an interim is selected, the board can focus on finding a permanent superintendent.

A timeline has not been established, though Lawson said it’s “time sensitive.” Smith’s contract expires in October.

Smith announced last month he is leaving New Milford to become the superintendent in Region 15. He will replace Regina Lemerich Botsford, who retired June 30 after serving as Region 15’s superintendent for about five years.

Smith has said the ability to give back to the community he grew up in was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

Smith was a student in Region 15 and it was where he taught as a student before getting a full-time teaching job at Schaghticoke Middle School in New Milford.

The new position is 40 minutes closer to his Southington home.

Smith has been with New Milford for seven years, serving as full-time superintendent since 2016.

Since the announcement, Smith has said he will miss New Milford and his coworkers. He sent emails to parents and staff to share the news of his departure.

“You are a talented, dedicated group of people who care deeply about children and have made this decision very hard,” he wrote to the teachers, adding a similar note to the parents, “It has always been my goal to balance progress with compassion and policy with empathy. I hope that I have served you well in my time here and wish you all the very best on whatever your path has in store for you.”; 203-731-3345