Understanding there will never be another Mike O’Leary in the Foxborough Public School District, a Facilities Manager Search Committee set out to find a candidate that could best forward O’Leary’s 11 years of work.
On Sept. 17, Foxborough Schools Superintendent Debra Spinelli and Business Administrator Bill Yukna announced during the School Committee meeting they had found the district’s next Facilities Manager – Tony Moussalli.
“After going through that interview process one fellow really stood out based on his qualifications,” Yukna said. “Something that stood out to me as a value was somebody who truly understood why buildings needed to be clean, bright and efficient.”
Yukna said Moussalli was chosen from a field of 92 applicants, 24 of which “really met the standards” of what the search committee was looking for.
“We were able to, as a group, bring it down to eight resumes,” Yukna said.
Moussalli applied for the facilities manager position with “about 17 years of medical trade experience,” according to Yukna.
“He had worked for the Flatley Company, in a hospital environment,” Yukna said. “He was extremely well grounded on the requirements of facilities like that. He also has a Masters Construction License, which allows him to be a builder. Again, not something you commonly come across.”
Moussalli’s experience may be unique but, ironically, it is very similar to the man he will be replacing as Foxborough Schools’ Facilities Manager.
“Mike [O’Leary’s] resume looked very much like Tony’s,” Yukna said. “If we are fortunate enough to come up with somebody that has that same type of presentation then we will at least be able to keep moving forward with what Mike [O’Leary] has done [for 11 years].”
Spinelli said Yukna sat on the original hiring committee that brought in O’Leary 11 years ago, so who better than Yukna to try and find O’Leary’s successor?
“[Yukna is] well aware of the standard that had been created,” Spinelli said.
Yukna said after Moussalli accepted the district’s offer, he began shadowing O’Leary and the two have worked closely together for the past three weeks.
“[Moussalli has] been able to work with Mike [O’Leary] one-on-one to really get an understanding of what the job is, what the needs are,” Yukna said.
O’Leary told Yukna after a week of working with Moussalli that this was the right hire for the district.
“[O’Leary] said ‘I think you really found somebody who can continue this process on,’” Yukna said. “[Moussalli] really gets it and it’s been fun to watch as they’ve been like twins shadowing each other.”
Yukna said while O’Leary cannot be replaced and Moussalli is his own individual, the two share the same philosophies and experiences.
“It’s good when you see that,” Yukna said. … “From my perspective, I feel we have a very good candidate that’s going to move us forward.”
“I think having somebody who has worked at the college level with a large campus facility and at a hospital – there’s no better training for how to maintain an environment than in a hospital because of rules of cleanliness and maintenance,” Spinelli said of Moussalli’s experience. “Out of 92 people, we got as close to Mike [O’Leary] as we could. We are pretty excited. His experience is almost exactly what Mike’s was when he came to us.”
O'Leary's last day is Friday, Sept. 28.