Finalists Announced For Pittsfield Deputy School Superintendent

By Joe DurwinPittsfield Correspondent
Print Story | Email Story
The School Committee will interview deputy superintendent finalists next month.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three finalists have been chosen in the search to replace its outgoing deputy school superintendent and they will be undergo final interviews before the School Committee next month.
Two local principals along with one out-of-state administrator emerged from an initial pool of 28 applicants for the position, Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless told the committee on Wednesday.
"We felt very fortunate by the number and caliber of our applicants," stated McCandless, who said the applicant pool had first been narrowed down by a 13-member panel to eight candidates invited for interviews, of whom five opted to come interview for the position.
Finalists include Sophia Redman-Jones, director of special services for the Harvey, Ill., public school district; Joseph Curtis, principal of Morningside Community School, and Jonathan Vosburg, principal of Taconic High School.
"I think we're bringing forward three candidates, each of whom would bring very special skills and a very good work ethic to this position," McCandless said, assuring committee members that the hiring panel had undertaken rigorous evaluation and background checking.
The new deputy superintendent will replace N. Tracy Crowe, who was hired in May 2012 to replace previous deputy Barbara Malkas, who departed to become superintendent for the Webster school district.
Crowe, who previously served as an assistant principal for a Marblehead high school, was offered a salary increase of $18,283 upon her hiring, a controversial raise which the committee passed 6-1 partly in consideration of the fact that Crowe already had health insurance coverage and this benefit was not provided by the school district. The School Committee has not yet entered into any public discussion on a proposed salary for the next deputy.
The School Committee is slated to begin interviewing the three finalists at the its next regular meeting on Jan. 14.
The district will also be vetting three candidates for the newly created position of cultural proficiency liaison, the superintendent said on Wednesday.
"We're not going to get into names now, because we're just getting ready to move into the first round," McCandless said.  
The new position, approved by the committee this fall, will be a year-round, part-time position that will primarily serve the school district, but will also have some shared responsibility working for City Hall. According to the job posting put out in October, the position will demand between 20 and 25 hours a week, and be paid $30,000 to $35,000, primarily from the school budget, with some additional contribution from the city's municipal budget.
"We feel that this position has been crucial for some time, and now more than ever," said McCandless.

Tags: interview,   Pittsfield School Committee,   school administrator,   

1 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

Environment Secretary Visits Pittsfield

Kathleen Theoharides, secretary of energy and environmental affairs, visits the site of culvert project in Pittsfield being funded through the state's climate readiness program.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides was in Pittsfield on Friday to review a state-funded culvert site and meet with local officials to discuss the state's climate readiness program. 
She joined Mayor Linda Tyer at the Churchill Street culvert, a site which recently received grant funding through the state's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. The city was awarded an $814,524 state grant in June for the Churchill Brook and West Street Culvert Replacement Project.
Through the MVP program, which begun in 2017, municipalities identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, develop adaptation actions, and prioritize next steps. The initiative which initially started as a $500,000 capital grant program has now increased to $12 million. Pittsfield is among the 71 percent of communities across the commonwealth now enrolled in the MVP program.
"The governor and the lieutenant governor have made resilient infrastructure a priority all across the state and I think it's really important to know that we have a really vested interest in Western Massachusetts communities as well as all across the state, not forgetting the Berkshires or Pioneer Valley," said Theoharides in a statement. "Our MVP program is really focused on these types of partnership investments and looking to design infrastructure for the challenges we're seeing today and moving forward as climate change increases."
View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories