LEE -- Veteran educator Alfred Skrocki's permanent retirement is on hold for at least another school year.
Skrocki will continue as the interim superintendent at Lee Public Schools through June 2015 after agreeing to another one-year contract with the Lee and Tyringham school committees. The deal is similar to the current one he inked last spring that pays him roughly -- on a per diem basis -- $80,000 over a 12-month period. Lee and Tyringham are part of Union 29, the school district that oversees the Lee's K-12 school system
In late June 2013, the committee hired the Adams man as its part-time school leader, eight months after he ended a 38-year career in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District -- the last 14 as superintendent. Skrocki took over for Jason "Jake" McCandless, who left Lee to become the superintendent of Pittsfield Public Schools.
The school board believes keeping Skrocki as interim superintendent will give it time to consider whether to search for a new permanent school boss for the short or long term, or develop some other leadership structure.
"He has been a great objective set of eyes for use and brings a lot of experience to the table," said Lee School Committee Chairwoman Susan Harding.
The future role of the Lee school superintendent is part of an overall self-evaluation of the district's governance, budget and curriculum.
In September, the seven-member school board unanimously agreed to explore the options and benefits of sharing services with an area school system. The collaboration could range from a mutual agreement over a shared administrator or program to regionalization, possibly with Lenox.
Lee and Lenox are conducting separate self-assessments since both are spending more money to educate fewer students than 10 years ago.
Lenox School Superintendent Edward W. Costa II's announcement last month that he was retiring by July1 has added a new twist to both towns' studies. That has prompted the Berkshire Hills Regional School District to seek talks with Lee, Lenox and Richmond about sharing a superintendent.
No matter the final report of the Lee self-study expected in June, tough decisions await the Lee Public Schools, according to Skrocki.
"The outcome is coming quickly and soon we'll need to start getting some pieces in place," he said.
To reach Dick Lindsay:
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