WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Monday voted to offer an interim superintendent position to the former superintendent in the Central Berkshire and Adams-Cheshire Regional school districts.
Chair Christina Conry announced after the committee met in executive session for 38 minutes that Superintendent Kimberley Grady is on an indefinite medical leave.
Pending the successful negotiation of a contract, the district is hiring longtime Berkshire County educator Robert Putnam.
Putnam taught for 13 years in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District before moving into administration. He was the director of teaching and learning in the Berkshire Hills district from 2001-2003 and 2006-10, principal at Stockbridge Plain and Muddy Brook elementaries from 2003-06, assistant superintendent in Dalton from 2010-14, superintendent of Central Berkshire from 2014-15 and superintendent in Adams-Cheshire from 2016-18.
In between superintendent jobs, he returned to teaching in the Berkshire Hills district. He has been working as a consultant since retiring from Adams-Cheshire, now Hoosac Valley, two years ago.
"The district explored other possible interim candidates and felt strongly about Dr. Putnam," Conry told iBerkshires.com after Monday's brief, single-item public meeting.
The vote to hire Putnam on an interim basis was 7-0.
"We want to make sure we have clear directives," Conry said in the meeting. "The No. 1 priority is having our reopening plans mapped out. After that would be acclimating the new administrators to their roles and working with the subcommittees."
This spring, Grady hired Kristen Thompson as principal at Williamstown Elementary School and Jake Schutz as principal at Mount Greylock. The latter moves up from the post of assistant principal at the middle-high school. Thompson comes to the district from Albuquerque, N.M.
Late last month, rumors began circulating in the district after Mount Greylock Assistant Superintendent Andrea Wadsworth sent an email to district staff informing them that she would be acting as superintendent while Grady was "unavailable."
Wadsworth this spring had announced that she was leaving the district to take a job at Berkshire Community College. On Monday, Conry noted that Wadsworth was planning to leave the Lanesborough-Williamstown district on Wednesday, but Putnam is available to begin work right away, so "there will be some crossover."
It is the second time in seven years that the Mount Greylock district will be led by an interim superintendent. In December 2014, after the retirement of Rose Ellis, the district hired Gordon Noseworthy on an interim basis. He served from January through June 2015.
The School Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 6 p.m.
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Williamstown Panel Looks at Context of Historic Monuments
By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
A sign erected by the Williamstown Historical Commission to recognize the site of the 18th Century West Hoosac Fort.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town's newest committee Monday got down to the business of finding ways to talk about the truth of the Village Beautiful's founding.
The Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee discussed two historical markers and whether they do more to sanitize that history and marginalize Native Americans than they do to educate the public.
Lauren Stevens of the 1753 House Committee told the DIRE Committee that his group has discussed how to properly contextualize one of the highest profile structures in town, a replica of an 18th-century dwelling built in 1953 with period-specific techniques to help celebrate the town's centennial.
"Bilal [Ansari] was talking at the Friday afternoon Black Lives Matter rally, and he mentioned in a passing reference to the 1753 House that there were, indeed, people in this area before those being honored by the settlement in 1753," Stevens said.
The college's vice president for finance and administration told the board in a virtual meeting that the impact on the community is something that is discussed every day by the school as it prepares for the beginning of students' arrival on Aug. 24.
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The committee did not disclose a starting date for McCandless, who currently is the superintendent of the Pittsfield Public Schools. Pittsfield has voted to hold McCandless to the 90-day notice in his contract.
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Keeping with the members' desire to focus on evidence gathering as the nine-person committee gets up and running, all three of the initial groups are tasked with building up the knowledge base.
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