STOCKBRIDGE -- The Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee will be reaching out to the Lee, Lenox and Richmond school districts to start talks on sharing a superintendent.
Superintendent Peter Dillon and committee members Robert Dohoney and Stephen Bannon, who form the subcommittee that will reach out to the others, emphasized that the talks are preliminary.
In addition, it doesn’t mean that all four districts will end up sharing one superintendent. Bannon said the idea is in such a preliminary stage that he doesn’t know how or if the plan will actually work.
Berkshire Hills was in talks several years ago with the Southern Berkshire Regional School District to work out some type of shared administrative scenario, but nothing materialized.
"We had very cordial talks with Southern Berkshire," said Bannon, "but we never got past the talking stage."
The four South Berkshire School Districts have resisted an outright merger for decades, due in large part to partisan concerns about control and logistics.
Still, Dohoney said the time may be right for a Berkshire Hills-Lenox superintendent share. Lenox superintendent Edward W. Costa has announced his retirement at the end of the school year.
"It just struck me as an ideal situation to explore something like this," Dohoney said. "The sharing of a superintendent with Lenox seems like the most viable option."
Bannon said Lee school officials also have reached out to Berkshire Hills.
Dillon said he was amenable to such a situation, at least on an interim basis for possibly a year. The issue, said Dillon, would be how to divide up some of his duties to administrators below him.
"On a slow week, I work 60 hours. And on a busy week, I work 70," said Dillon. "I’d like to be able to eat, and sleep and exercise a bit. I think we’ll have to manage expectations and adjust to what my role would be.
"We have a very good administrative staff," he continued. "But there are complicated questions we need to ask to make this work."
The committee did not announce when meetings with various district administrations would be scheduled, but Bannon said the group would initiate these discussions as quickly as possible.
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