WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Principal Mary MacDonald surprised many in the school community this week by announcing that she will be stepping down this summer from the post she has held since 2013.
But the move came as no surprise to her boss.
"With her being at the helm in everything we've been through — regionalization, the building project — with the hours that were put in … last year, when we had an English position open, Mary talked to me about stepping down at that point," Mount Greylock Regional School District Superintendent Kimberley Grady said this week.
But MacDonald agreed to stay in the principal's chair to help provide continuity after a period when the district went through several administrative changes.
"Another position opened up that she expressed interest in, and this year she came to me earlier and discussed it," Grady said. "I received her letter a week and a half ago, but I wanted her on her terms to be able to talk to her faculty and staff."
After notifying her colleagues, MacDonald, who has taught at Mount Greylock and in Lenox as well as in New York City, sent an email to families at the middle-high school.
"I have the greatest respect and affection for the school community, and it has been a privilege and honor to serve as principal," MacDonald wrote. "That said, returning to the classroom as a teacher in the tradition of past administrators is something I have contemplated seriously during the past year, and it is time for me to make that transition."
During her nearly 30 years as an educator, MacDonald had taught English in schools in New York and Lenox. The Connecticut native left Lenox Memorial High after seven years to become coordinator of curriculum, instruction and assessment of what was then the "Tri-School District" in 2012. She moved into the principal's post when it opened less than a year later.
Grady said the School Committee was aware of MacDonald's plans and that the principal position will be posted right away with the hope of having a replacement on board before MacDonald's last day on June 30.
"This is the ideal time to start looking for building administrators," Grady said. "That's why she gave it to me when she did. We wanted there to be a full search cycle."
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Mount Greylock Likely to Stay with Winter/Spring Vacation Weeks
By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It likely will be at least another year before the Mount Greylock Regional School District considers a move away from the traditional February and April vacation schedule.
And it looks like a switch to a single week off in March may not be in the cards at all.
Superintendent Kimberley Grady last week presented a tentative 2020-21 academic calendar to the School Committee for its consideration. As drafted, the calendar would stick to the familiar practice of a week off starting with the Presidents Day holiday in February and another commencing with Patriots Day in April.
The committee has in the past discussed whether it made sense to switch to long weekends for the February and April holidays and a full week off in March for a couple of reasons: one, it would align the schedule more closely with the schedule at Williams College, which employs many of the parents of children in the district and two, it could result in a net pickup of school days that could prevent going deeper into the month of June with snow days.
The Mount Greylock school community was thrown a curve ball with Thursday's announcement that school would be out of session Friday for an "inspection of the roof-top units and ventilation systems."
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Select Board member Andrew Hogeland, who has been part of a study group looking at the feasibility of broadband, reported to his colleagues the results of a townwide survey that was distributed along with the annual town census this winter.
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