PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Public School Deputy Superintendent search committee hopes to be able to recommend two to four finalist applicants to the school committee by July 22.
Superintendent Joseph Curtis told the school committee Wednesday that the 15 member committee will hold their first meeting Thursday to start the process of selecting finals from the applicant pool of 11.
"So the initial announcement in the survey called for ten to fourteen participants on the interview committee. We've actually had more," Curtis said. "But it was such a great representation of parents and staff that I reached out to all who applied to be on the committee."
The committee of fifteen members includes Pittsfield Public School teachers, parents, and Pittsfield High School Vice Principal Brendan Sheran. The United Educators of Pittsfield teachers’ union president Melissa Campbell is also on the panel.
Curtis did not announce the candidate’s names but said six of the applicants identify as female and four identify as male. Nine of the applicants have identified as white and two chose not to disclose.
At the search committee’s first meeting on June 15, they will participate in an orientation to bring awareness of bias in the hiring process and will review candidate applications to decide which will be interviewed based on an application review.
Curtis said that application reviews will be judged based on relevant experience, licensure, and the language on the cover letter.
The committee will also be tasked with offering ten to fourteen questions that will be asked during the first round of interviews. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Superintendent administrator evaluation rubric will be used as a guide in authorizing questions.
On Tuesday the 20 and Thursday the 22, the panel will conduct interviews, and Curtis anticipates that by Thursday, they will be able to suggest two or four candidates to the School Committee that have gone through the initial round of interviews.
The position was left vacant by Curtis who was the former Deputy Superintendent. He was hired as superintendent after former district leader Jason McCandless was chosen as superintendent of Mount Greylock Regional School District in August of 2020.
Curtis appointed Henry Duval in November of 2020 as the Interim Deputy superintendent. Duval served as the previous principal of Pittsfield High School and was seen as a seamless and highly qualified candidate.
In early June, the School Committee was tasked with reviewing the Deputy Superintendent job description where edits were proposed and finalized. The Job description was posted on June 7 and on June 29, Curtis sent out a survey to the entire educational community in English and Spanish soliciting members of a search committee.
Committee member William Cameron suggested scheduling a separate School Committee meeting for interviewing and selecting finalists.
Mayor Linda Tyer seconded Cameron’s sentiment.
"I just want to say that I agree with Dr. Cameron about having a separate meeting for interviewing the finalists," she said. "Trying to fit it into a regular school committee meeting is not conducive to really good decision making, and our work is important. So I do think having a separate meeting for a round of interviews is really critical to this process overall."
Curtis said that he wanted to act promptly on the recommendations for the courtesy of the applicants but agreed to schedule an additional meeting. He said they will hopefully have a date for the special meeting by the end of the week.
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.
Firefighters used several avenues of attack to douse the blaze.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A midday fire Thursday on South Atlantic Avenue killed a pet and left a family homeless.
Police happened to be at a neighboring house when they were notified of a fire at 16 South Atlantic. The Fire Department was called out at 12:35 p.m. and found "heavy fire conditions" on the first floor in the kitchen area, reported Deputy Chief Daniel Garner.
The fire had extended into the adjoining rooms of the 2 1/2-story, wood frame home. Crews from four engines and a ladder truck attacked the blaze; a primary search was conducted to ensure no one was in the building.
There were no reported injuries but a dog perished in the blaze. Garner estimated that the house suffered about $20,000 to $50,000 in damage, largely from heavy fire and smoke on the first floor and smoke damage throughout.