Lenox superintendent to seek shared leadership post with neighboring Shaker Mountain district


LENOX — Lenox Public Schools Superintendent Timothy Lee is pursuing a position as superintendent of the Shaker Mountain School Union 70, which serves Richmond, Hancock and New Ashford students.

The post, currently filled by interim Superintendent William Cameron through July, potentially would become a shared position with neighboring Lenox. Just two weeks ago, Lee suggested to the Richmond School Committee that it consider exploring shared services.

"I plan on going ahead with the interview on an exploratory basis, just to see what it's all about," he said.

Lee, who will interview on Monday, will be competing against five other applicants, including the superintendents of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District and the Williamstown-Lanesborough Public Schools, who also are seeking shared-services arrangements.

He told the Lenox School Committee on Monday night about his application.

"In light of the fact that we may have a significant influx of ninth-grade students from Richmond, I think it's very timely," said School Committee Chairman Robert Vaughan. He was referring to Lee's recent letter to the Richmond School Committee regarding shared-services potential.

Vaughan, who said he had discussed with Lee his plan to apply for the superintendency, noted that Cameron had asked Lee to put in an application.

The School Union's Superintendent Search Committee, headed by Hancock Elementary School Principal Tracey Tierney, is considering six applicants.

In addition to Lee, Superintendent Peter Dillon of the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee and Douglas Dias, superintendent of the Williamstown-Lanesborough Public Schools, have applied for a shared services position, she said. The three applicants for a traditional post (not involving shared services) are not publicly identified so far.

Dias oversees all three schools in Lanesborough and Williamstown. The Tri-District, as it's known, is governed by two elementary school committees comprising Mount Greylock School Union 71 and the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee.

The search committee, which includes administrators, parents and faculty from Richmond, Hancock and New Ashford, plans to interview all six applicants on Monday, Tierney stated.

"It is the goal of the search committee to come forward with a recommendation or recommendations to the Shaker Mountain School Union 70 School Committee," she said. That committee includes three members from the school committees of the three towns it serves.

Hancock Elementary has 44 pre-K through sixth-grade students enrolled. Richmond Consolidated serves 177 pre-K through eighth-grade pupils.

Cameron, retired superintendent of the Central Berkshire Regional School District, was hired last November to oversee the Shaker Mountain School Union on a temporary basis for 90 days, but his tenure was extended through July so the superintendent's post could be filled.

Cameron was an assistant school superintendent in Pittsfield from 1997 to 2007 and is a member of the Berkshire County Education Task Force, which is exploring potential shared services and collaborations among area school districts.

The Shaker Union superintendency, listed as a 0.6 full-time equivalent, includes two days week at the Richmond Consolidated School and one day at Hancock Elementary, which includes pupils from neighboring New Ashford.

The posting for the position seeks applicants with prior experience in school and district administration, able to work at least 120 days per fiscal year and attend various evening meetings. The salary was not listed but was described as negotiable.

The tri-town school union shares a superintendent, administrative assistant and special education director.

In his letter to the Richmond School Committee, sent with the approval of the Lenox School Committee, Lee noted that the two towns "have a history of sharing resources and personnel to maintain high-quality educational outcomes."

Under a tuition agreement, eight Richmond ninth graders are enrolled at Lenox Memorial High School.

Contact Clarence Fanto at 413-637-2551.


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