CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee on Monday voted to hire an interim superintendent and simultaneously conduct a permanent superintendent search.
Once formed, a superintendent search committee will be charged with full search for a new educational leader but also to bring on a short-term interim superintendent to steer the district during the few months it may be without leadership.
"We need someone who can assist us for a couple of months while at the same time we are continuing the superintendent search," School Committee member Regina Hill said. "They would be there just to bridge the void we may potentially have."
Current Superintendent John Vosburgh plans to resign at the end of July after barely a year on the job.
Chairman Adam Emerson said his first thought was to conduct an interim superintendent search as they did when Kristen Gordon left the superintendent post in 2016. However, School Committee member Peter Tatro said he thought they needed someone permanent sooner rather than later.
"This will be our third superintendent in three years. We need stability," he said. "I don't see any benefit for us to have possibly a fourth superintendent so I would like to do a long-term search ... we have had a lot of turnover in this district."
Adams-Cheshire has had three superintendents since Al Skrocki retired in 2012 after 14 years as superintendent and 38 years in the school district.
It was noted earlier that 10 candidates have already applied for the position, and Tatro felt the best candidate may already be in the pool.
He went as far to say finalist candidates from the last search may have applied and that he feared they may lose some of these candidates if they take the full-time position off the table and focus on an interim.
Emerson said he was still worried about time and was concerned they could not conduct a thorough search just over the summer.
"We are under a time crunch and the last search took us almost three months," he said. "Who runs the district in the meantime?"
He added that the interim candidate could always apply for the full-time position.
Tatro thought they may have taken too long the last time around and felt instead of three months, they could expedite the process and do it in two.
Hill saw Tatro's point but felt even if they could hire someone in the fall, there would be a few months when the district would be without a superintendent with Vosburgh leaving in July.
Without a superintendent, she said, the principals would have to run the district, which she did not think was fair.
She said instead of having an interim superintendent for a year or more, as they did with Robert Putnam, they could bring on a short-term interim superintendent just to bridge the gap -- perhaps a retired superintendent.
The School Committee felt this was the best option and asked Vosburgh to meet with the Berkshire County Superintendents Roundtable to see if there was anyone up for the job.
The committee agreed to keep the same search committee formation with School Committee members, selectmen, administrators, teachers, and parents from both towns.
Emerson said he plans to reach out to the towns immediately to get the ball rolling.
In other business, Vosburgh said no one yet has applied for open Adams seat on the School Committee and asked that anyone interested contact the school.
No one ran for the open seat vacated by former Chairman Paul Butler during the May election. Also, nobody was able to mount a successful write-in campaign, leaving the seat open.
The district was told by the state to advertise the position and vote to bring on the most suitable candidate.
The policy subcommittee met earlier Monday to go over the district's bullying policy and plans to submit a revised policy to the full board before the beginning of the next school year.
"We decided to look at our bullying policy and prevention plan and we are going to take a look at the policy which is state acquired," Emerson said. "We want to make sure it is all up to date."
He said they will likely make changes to both the students and teachers handbooks with feedback from school administration.
iBerkshires.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
Cheshire Tackling Budget Process, Phase II Reopening
By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen elected a new chair Tuesday night as Michelle Francesconi was elevated to the seat for the first time.
Francesconi was elected in 2019 when the board expanded from three seats to five. She will take over for Robert Ciskowski, who was roundly thanked by his fellow board members for his leadership over the past year.
Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV is preparing to work with a 1/12th budget scenario for the first part of fiscal 2021. Cheshire, like many other municipalities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, has postponed its annual town meeting past the state's June 30 deadline, thus preventing them from finalizing a budget.
State revenue and local aid numbers are unknown at this point but are expected to take a significant hit because of the pandemic. St. John and the board feel this is the most prudent course of action.
When the commonwealth shut down non-essential businesses last month, nurseries and garden centers were classified as essential.
That could be an understatement. If anything, they're more important than ever. click for more