New administrators at helm in North Adams Public Schools


NORTH ADAMS — Amid a high administrative turnover this summer, North Adams Public Schools was able to fill many vacancies with longtime employees.

But some are fresh faces.

Standing next to administrators with years of experience in the district, new part-time Athletic Director David Racette joked he's been here all of about "four days or five days."

"We're just getting started," he said at Tuesday's School Committee meeting. "All of our athletic teams started today — so I'm really excited about that," Racette said, noting that Drury was already able to add a junior varsity boys soccer team since he was appointed effective Sept. 1.

"We were very lucky to have a highly qualified candidate come forward ... hands down," said Superintendent Barbara Malkas. "I believe our finalist and appointed athletic director just wowed everyone who was in the [search] committee."

Racette's appointment comes at the tail end of a recent series of rapid changes at North Adams Public Schools, which included Malkas coming on as the new superintendent.

"This has been a very busy [summer]," Malkas said, "and we've had a lot of hiring and some transitions within the leadership rank."

Former Colegrove Principal Shelley Fachini left to become the new coordinator of special education for early childhood and was quickly replaced by former Drury High School Principal Amy Meehan.

"I was definitely looking for a new challenge and I couldn't be more blessed that this opportunity came forward," Meehan said.

In her short time there, Meehan said she's created a data team and worked with a team to create a new master schedule for the building.

"I'm really looking forward to building a sense of community at Colegrove," Meehan said.

Shortly after Meehan left Drury High School, Assistant Principal Timothy Callahan was appointed as the interim principal for the upcoming year. Callahan said the staff has "embraced the challenges" of the new school year as it begins.

"We're building this theme of student voice this year at Drury High School and we're excited about the possibilities and getting more students more involved in more things in the building," Callahan said.

Of course, Callahan's new role left a vacancy in the assistant principal position, which has since been filled by Molly Meczywor. In more than 20 years in the district, Meczywor has served as an English teacher, athletic director, and college and career facilitator.

"I'm really looking forward to continuing on with the college and career readiness piece that we started last year," she said. "The connection to elementary school is really powerful."

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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