Southern Berkshire Regional School District begins elementary principal search


SHEFFIELD -- A search committee will soon begin reviewing applications for the next principal of the four elementary schools of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District.

Tuesday was the deadline to apply for the position vacated last month after Erin Woodsome resigned.

As of April 30, Woodsome has been on administrative leave. Her resignation will be effective July 1.

Superintendent David Hastings said he is unable to discuss the details or terms of Woodsome's departure due to it being a "personnel matter," but a staff memo dated April 28 and a press announcement both regarded Woodsome on cordial terms, recognizing the accomplishments the school has made during her almost three years of service, and requesting that staff wish her well during her departure.

"During Ms. Woodsome's tenure, numerous successful school change efforts have improved outcomes for students," Hastings said in the press statement, which cited her as being a "keen observer of teachers, quick to recognized and acknowledge outstanding instructional practices" and a "fiscally responsible" administrator.

In his memo to faculty and staff titled, "Elementary School Transition Planning," Hastings said he was confident in the interim leadership plan for the elementary schools, which include approximately 65 staff members and 430 students in pre-kindergarten through Grade 6. Currently sharing Woodsome's workload is Assistant Elementary Principal Thomas Nadolny, with support from Mt. Everett Regional High School Principal Glenn Devoti; Kerry Burke, the district's curriculum and professional development coordinator, and Sandra Hubbard, director of student services.

"We are fortunate to have an outstanding faculty, strong union leadership, a great school committee, and an experienced administrative team," said Hastings. "I am confident that this will make our transition a smooth one. We just need to work together."

Hastings posted the position on May 2 on the educators employment website, SchoolSpring. On Tuesday, he told The Eagle approximately 20 candidates have applied for the position.

Now, it will be up to an 11-member search committee to sift through the prospective principals.

"We hope to find the best candidate who will be with us for a long time," Hastings said. The superintendent said this will be the district's third elementary school principal search since 2009.

The job posting specified that the ideal candidate should have knowledge of the state's new educator evaluation system, which was implemented for the first time this school year. The post also listed several other sought qualifications, including knowledge of other standardized systems like the Common Core curriculum, a sense of community involvement and positive behavioral and intervention support systems.

The elementary principal search committee expects to have a new administrator, effective July 1.

Southern Berkshire Regional School District Elementary Principal Search Committee

n Kerry Burke, district curriculum and professional development coordinator

n Jennifer Gaezle-Smith, New Marlborough Central School PTA

n Francine Groener, pre-kindergarten teacher at New Marlborough Central School

n JoAnn Gavrity, Title I teacher and coordinator, member of the Southern Berkshire Regional Education Association

n Kenzie Fields, Southern Berkshire School Committee

n Sandra Hubbard, director of student services

n Jo-ellen Height, pre-kindergarten integrated elementary school teacher

n Alice Tortoriello, Undermountain Elementary School office staff

n Mara Handa, Undermountain PTO

n Sabrina Wilson, Undermountain School Council member

n Dan Weston, Undermountain second grade teacher


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