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Robert Putnam is recognized on his retirement from the Hoosac Valley Regional School District in 2018 by Adams Selectwoman Christine Hoyt. Putnam, on Monday, was named interim superintendent at Mount Greylock Regional.

Mount Greylock Names Putnam Interim Superintendent

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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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.

Tags: interim appointment,   MGRSD,   superintendent,   

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Mount Greylock School Committee Votes Down Remote Learning Start to School Year

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Two months of input and advice from Mount Greylock’s working groups looking at the reopening of school were undone in four hours of discussion by the School Committee on Thursday night.

On a 6-1 vote, the committee directed interim superintendent Robert Putnam to submit to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education a radically different plan for the start of the year that moves more children into the school building more quickly than the administration was recommending.
 
Subject to approval by DESE and, not insignificantly, collective bargaining with the district’s unions, there will be no two-week period of fully remote learning as Putnam was proposing.
 
Putnam went into Thursday’s meeting with plans based on input from groups established in the spring and summer by him and his predecessor with the goal of getting the School Committee's blessing for the plan he has to submit to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on Friday.
 
Putnam laid out a plan largely like the one he presented in a virtual town hall on Tuesday evening and told the School Committee he was looking for guidance.
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