LOWELL -- He's staying.
Superintendent of Schools Salah Khelfaoui is withdrawing his name from consideration for a position Randolph, according to an email he sent to The Sun Thursday afternoon.
"I have received strong calls of support and encouragement to stay in Lowell from a majority of members of the Lowell School Committee and from numerous other stakeholders," he wrote. "Given the number of critical leadership positions that currently are unfilled and the issues that need to be addressed over the next few weeks for a smooth opening of schools in August, I could not leave at this time."
The Randolph School Committee announced Khelfaoui was one of three finalists for an interim superintendent position this Monday. The other two are Portia Bonner, former superintendent of New Bedford and East Haven, Conn. public schools, and Randolph Community Middle School Principal Thea Stovell.
The revelation Khelfaoui was in the running for the Randolph job, came two weeks after Gary Frisch, the department's chief financial officer submitted his resignation. Efforts to find an interim CFO before Frisch's departure on July 8 were unsuccessful.
Other top administrative positions, like the transportation and assistant business managers, are also vacant.
A $2.5 million budget shortfall has also caused tension and cuts to staffing -- particularly the district's library aids.
Khelfaoui closed the email with praise for his time in Lowell.
"I truly enjoy the work in the City of Lowell and I remain committed to continuing to improve education in further collaboration with the Lowell community," he wrote.
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