Shaker Mountain School Union sets interviews for superintendent finalists

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RICHMOND — The search for a new superintendent to serve the tri-town Shaker Mountain School Union 70 is moving toward a potential resolution.

The three finalists chosen last month by the school union's 11-member search committee are slated for public interviews beginning at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Richmond Consolidated School, 1831 State Road (Route 41).

Berkshire Hills Regional School Superintendent Peter Dillon and Lenox School Superintendent Timothy Lee will be considered for a possible shared-services scenario. The third finalist is Mark Prince, an independent education consultant based in Amherst.

The candidates will be interviewed by the nine-member Shaker Mountain School Union Committee, which is made up of three school committee members from each of the three towns in the union — Richmond, Hancock and New Ashford.

The interviews and any committee discussion leading up to the choice of a superintendent will be in open session, said School Union 70 Committee Chairman Jim Biancolo, who also chairs the Richmond School Committee. If the committee chooses to make an offer to one of the applicants, he added, contract negotiations would be held in a private session.

If an offer is extended to either Dillon or Lee, negotiations with the Berkshire Hills or the Lenox School Committee would follow to work out details of the shared services arrangement, according to William Cameron, the current interim superintendent of the Shaker Mountain School Union. He was also a member of the search committee.

The budgeted salary for the School Union 70 superintendent post is a maximum of $69,500, he said.

The position is part-time, three days a week, a 0.6 full-time equivalent slot. Cameron has pointed out that if a shared-superintendent arrangement emerges, it would appear to be a first for Massachusetts and therefore amounts to "uncharted territory."

In a typical week, the School Union 70 superintendent spends two days at the Richmond Consolidated School, which has 177 students from pre-K through Grade 8, and one day at Hancock Elementary, with 44 students enrolled. New Ashford elementary students attend the Hancock school under a tuition arrangement.

When the Shaker School Union superintendent position was advertised, the posting specified that applicants should be able to work at least 120 days per year and attend evening meetings as needed. The salary was described as negotiable.

Currently, the tri-town school union also has an administrative assistant to the superintendent and a special education director.

Contact Clarence Fanto at 413-637-2551.


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