The Lee School Committee and town of Lenox have key positions to fill due to the domino effect of Sabic Innovative Plastics shuttering its Pittsfield headquarters this summer.
By month's end, Tiffany Morawiec is leaving the business administrator's position in the Lee Public Schools, being filled by Lenox's current town treasurer Andrea Wadsworth, who also had to resign as chairwoman of the Lee school board. Morawiec is following her husband who is among the dozens of local Sabic employees relocating to the company's Houston headquarters.
Lee and Lenox are already losing their shared town building commissioner as Donald Fitzgerald follows his wife, another local Sabic employee headed to Texas.
Interim school superintendent Alfred Skrocki echoed the sentiments of the school district staff regarding Morawiec's pending departure after eight years on the superintendent's staff.
"Tiffany has evolved into a school administrator in every aspect," he said. "She had the concern and commitment for the kids."
New committee Chairman Robert Lohbauer added, "Having Tiffany move on is sad as she has grown into a tremendous asset for the town."
As for Wadsworth, she resigned from her hometown volunteer school committee in June in order to vie to be Morawiec's successor. Wadsworth spent five years as the business accountant for the Berkshire Hills Regional School District before working in Lenox. Wadsworth was appointed the Lenox town treasurer last fall, a job she will maintain until she helps train her yet-to-be appointed successor.
"My intention is to move very swiftly to fill the position," Lenox Town Manager Christopher Ketchen told The Eagle. "Andrea was good enough to let me know that this was a possibility" six weeks ago, "and we've been cultivating different options. I have no intention whatsoever of dragging this process out."
Calling for at least five years of financial and/or management experience with a bachelor's degree in business required and a master's preferred, the job would pay $53,000 to $62,000 annually, according to the job posting on the town's website.
The new treasurer is subject to approval by selectmen, but becomes automatic if the board takes no action within seven days of receiving the nomination.
Filling the Lee School Committee seat on the seven-person board is also in the early stages, but is expected to follow the scenario of almost nine years ago. In August of 2007, the Board of Selectmen and School Committee jointly appointed Susan Harding to serve out the final year of a three-year term until the following annual town election in May. Harding has since been elected twice to the committee.
Town officials have yet to formally seek letters of intent from Lee residents interested in joining the school board.
Potential candidates should be prepared to work toward providing the best education possible for the K-12 school system, according to the board's new chairman, Robert Lohbauer.
"The School Committee is steering the district, having an impact on the kids," he said. "There is an investment of time as there are several subcommittees."
Wadsworth leaves the Lee School Committee with less than a year remaining on her first term, having agonized over the decision to vacate the board and Lenox Town Hall.
"I couldn't have worked for a better town manager (Ketchen) and this office accepted me from day one," she said.
Wadsworth was one of 10 applicants for the Lee Public Schools job; one of four a search committee interviewed and recommended to the Lee-Tyringham Union 29 committee. The joint panel of three committee members from each town is responsible for hiring the superintendent and his/her office staff which manages the two-town school system.
While Lenox is searching for its second treasurer in less than a year, Ketchen understands why Wadsworth is leaving.
"We all get that opportunities come that were unexpected," he said, "These opportunities are very rare, it's something she's trained and licensed for in the commonwealth."
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233