North Adams superintendent adds curriculum, student support directors


NORTH ADAMS — Just a few weeks into her new role as superintendent of North Adams Public Schools, Barbara Malkas has surrounded herself with familiar faces.

Malkas announced the appointment of two experienced local education professionals to administrative positions at a recent School Committee meeting.

Thomas Simon was hired as the director of student support services while Kimberly Roberts-Morandi was brought on as the director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

"We have two great assets [added] to an already wonderful team of administrators," said Mayor and School Committee Chairman Richard Alcombright.

Simon has served as a special education teacher, community coordinator, elementary principal, and director of special education in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District. Most recently, Simon worked as a program manager for positive youth development through the Berkshire United Way, Malkas said.

Malkas said she had the opportunity to work with Simon while at Pittsfield Public Schools, where she previously served as assistant superintendent.

"What she's able to do here is largely because she knows how to assemble a team, and it feels like a really strong team here," Simon said, noting work already accomplished in a couple of meetings last week.

Simon fills the role that was formerly known as the former Special Education Director Noreen Donnelly, who recently retired. Addressing the change of the name of the position, Malkas said the scope of the position includes aiming to "assist in changing the academic achievement of students prior to the need of evaluation."

"It's really about putting more work into prevention and trying pout as much effort into the general education curriculum and individualized supports as possible without the need to go to the designation that a child has a disability," Simon said.

Roberts-Morandi was most recently employed since 2010 as a data specialist at the Berkshire County District and School Assistance Center, part of a state network of regional support teams to work with underperforming districts and schools. Previously, she has worked as a teacher, building principal, and assessments coordinator in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District.

Malkas worked with Roberts-Morandi in Pittsfield to develop a district data team and a "systemwide use of data."

"I'm so excited to a be a part of all of the forward movement that North Adams Public Schools have started and will be continuing," Roberts-Morandi said.

Simons agreed to a three-year contract beginning at $90,000 annually, according to Malkas. There are no set raises in the agreement, and any salary increases will be based on a review of his performance.

The details of Roberts-Morandi's contract, which is the same as Simon's, were not discussed at the meeting because the School Committee does not need to sign off on the contract for her position.

The committee approved both appointments unanimously.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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