Adams-Cheshire School Committee taps Crosby Elementary principal as new superintendent

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CHESHIRE — An Adams man with a well-rounded resume as a public school educator is the next superintendent for the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District.

By a 6-0 vote, the district's School Committee on Monday night unanimously agreed to hire Aaron Dean to succeed John Vosburgh, who resigned three weeks ago, after just one year as the district's top educator. Vosburgh resigned effective July 31, giving up a $127,000 annual salary.

Pending a successful contract negotiation with the school board, Dean could start before the school year begins.

Reached after the committee's decision, the current principal at Crosby Elementary School in Pittsfield said he appreciates the committee's faith in him.

"I'm ecstatic," Dean told The Eagle in a phone interview. "It's an honor to be chosen having gone up against a candidate like Beth."

Beth Choquette of Cheshire, an elementary school principal the past 13 years, and Dean were the two finalists out of 13 applicants. The school committee questioned the two for 35-40 minutes each on Thursday.

In the end, Dean's work experience impressed the committee. They cited his experience as a principal, teacher union leader and 16 years representing Adams on the Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School Committee. Dean says he'll resign from that committee as staying on would be a conflict of interest.

Dean also spent 14 years as a music teacher and band director in the Adams-Cheshire district from 1998 to 2012.

"It's a real advantage having someone come back who came up through the district," said committee member Peter Tatro.

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Committee member Jennifer Gageant felt Dean's interview on Thursday made him stand out.

"Aaron had a little more energy and better understood what the district is going through," she said.

The committee's key concern during the finalists' interviews was whether the candidates were committed to a position that is changing hands for the third time in three years.

Dean and Choquette said they would be committed to the position for the long haul.

On Monday, the revolving door in the superintendent's office was still on Tatro's mind before he voted.

"We can't afford to get this wrong," he said.

Vosburgh was hired in April 2018 to succeed Robert Putnam, who retired. Putnam had been brought on to replace Kristen Gordon, who resigned in July 2016. Gordon was Al Skrocki's successor when he retired in October 2012, after a 38-year career with the district.

In July, Skrocki returned as interim superintendent to bridge the gap between Vosburgh leaving and a new superintendent coming on board. Dean looks forward to learning from Skrocki during the transition.

"Anytime you can learn from someone with the knowledge of Al, it's a great way to come into the district. I respect Al's work ethic," he said.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6233.


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