Pittsfield School Committee OK's new contracts for McCandless, Brady


PITTSFIELD — After a brief executive session Wednesday, the School Committee approved new contract agreements for Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless and Assistant Superintendent for College and Career Readiness Richard Brady.

McCandless had one year added to his existing six-year contract, which will extend that through June 30, 2022.

He also agreed to no salary increase this school year from the $157,000 he received during 2015-16, and also agreed in new contract language that any salary hikes over the entire contract period must be negotiated.

The revised contract follows the committee's annual review of the superintendent in August, during which he received high marks in all areas, including instructional leadership, management and operations and in fostering a professional culture, as in the cultural proficiency of the system and continuous learning of staff members.

Among comments offered by committee members were those from Pamela Farron, who said in part: "Dr. McCandless is an excellent superintendent. He has a clear vision for how to move our district forward, is focused and goal oriented."

"Dr. McCandless is an exemplary superintendent," Chairwoman Katherine Yon said in her comments. "Committed to Pittsfield, he has an excellent understanding of who we are as a community, which is crucial to successfully leading the district, and he uses his insights to frame his goals."

Mayor Linda M. Tyer, an ex officio member of the committee, said of McCandless: "The city of Pittsfield is fortunate to have Dr. McCandless at the helm of its schools. There are many challenges to meet and details to attend to in the day-to-day operation of our schools. In front of those challenges is a superintendent who cares deeply about the people he leads and those he serves."

Member Cynthia Taylor said in part: "Dr. Jason McCandless is an inexhaustible change agent for our school system."

"My overall rating for Dr. McCandless is Proficient Plus," said Anthony Riello.

While noting that he has a few concerns, Daniel Elias concluded, "I feel that he meets the level of exemplary; simply put, we are fortunate to have him in place. His work ethic, honesty, pride, dedication and concern for all is second to none."

Joshua Cutler said, "It is a pleasure to work with Dr. McCandless, who is a tireless advocate of all things Pittsfield Public Schools, and represents our city and school system well in all things that he does."

Brady received a new three-year contract in the assistant superintendent position.

The approved pact calls for a salary of $93,000 this school year, $93,930 next year and $94,869 in the third year.

Brady, a longtime electronics instructor at Pittsfield High School, was named on an interim basis to the post in 2015. The position was a previously titled assistant superintendent for career vocational education. He succeeded Frank Cote, who left in 2014 for a superintendent's job in another district.

Brady began working in Pittsfield schools in 1988 as an instructor after serving in the Air Force and working for several years at GE. He grew up in Huntington and graduated from Gateway Regional High School and later from Westfield State College with a degree in computer science.

He received a master's degree in school administration from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Contact Jim Therrien at 413-496-6247.


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