The Recorder – The Pioneer School committee will meet with business leaders and interim superintendent candidates this week

Posted: 08/16/2021 14:32:26 PM

NORTHFIELD – The Pioneer Valley Regional School District School Committee will be meeting this week with several candidates for the positions of business manager and interim superintendent.

Members of the school committee have scheduled interviews for candidates for the post of sales director from 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, and candidates for the post of acting superintendent from 6:15 p.m. Thursday. Committee chair Julie Burke said it was possible for the committee to commit to hiring after conducting its interviews.

“It would be great if we could choose, but of course we’ll do our due diligence to make sure we make the right choice,” said Burke.

According to Burke, a candidate who had previously interviewed the school committee for the post of sales director on July 29 has since withdrawn her candidacy. Three new candidates have since applied, she said, and will appear before the committee on Wednesday.

The school committee has also scheduled interviews with candidates interested in the position of interim superintendent for Thursday, following the resignation of Jonathan Scagel. At the committee’s last meeting, Burke told colleagues that the Massachusetts Association of School Committees reviewed nine applications and made recommendations to the Pioneer School Committee to nominate shortlisted candidates for interviews. An acting superintendent search subcommittee will meet on Tuesday to examine potential interview questions and the process.

Burke said she was informed on August 13 that one of the recommended candidates, Dr Frank Tiano, had accepted a position elsewhere. This leaves the two remaining candidates, Patricia Kinsella and Carole Learned-Miller, to speak with the school committee for the position of acting superintendent. The committee is considering hiring for a one-year term, with the possibility of extension.

“They’ve met the qualifications for the job posting, so I think we’re presenting candidates who potentially fit the district very well,” Burke said of all of the applicants.

In the meantime, the school committee has asked the director of special education, Christie Fontaine, to serve as interim superintendent for the responsibilities necessary to assume as the school year approaches. Fontaine accepted the position at the August 12 school committee meeting and will receive a stipend of $ 500 per week until an interim superintendent is hired.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4579.

Mary H. Martino