Former Mount Greylock School Committee chairwoman returns to fill vacancy

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WILLIAMSTOWN — A former member of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee has been appointed to fill a seat on the committee vacated by Dan Caplinger in February.

Carrie Greene was appointed by unanimous vote Monday during a joint remote meeting of the Lanesborough and Williamstown Select Boards and the School Committee.

Select board and committee members aired no opposition to Greene's appointment, and during discussion praised her extensive experience working with the school district as a former chairwoman of the School committee, on several subcommittees and the School Building Committee during the project to build the new high school.

"I have absolutely no concerns with Carrie's candidacy and I am immensely grateful that she chose to step up for her community again," said School Committee member Jamie Art.

Greene served on the School Committee from 2009 to 2018, including a stint as chairwoman from 2012 to 2016. She also served on the Berkshire Education Task Force from 2015 to 2018. Greene also served as the chairwoman of Division VI of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees in 2018.

She is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 and a Life Membership Award in 2019 from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. She is a graduate of Mount Greylock Regional School and Williams College. She works at Williams as director of commencement and academic events.

Because of her extensive experience, she told the remote gathering, "I can hit the ground running."

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"I am excited about someone with her expertise coming and joining us," noted committee member Allison Carter.

Greene told The Eagle that because she's been extensively involved with the district for so long, "I thought I might be helpful."

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And now that the building project is largely complete, as is the regionalization of all the schools in the district, "it's time to get back to educational needs and focus more on the students."

The ongoing discussion in the school community about the superintendent's performance is also something that should be addressed publicly, Greene said.

"That is something the School Committee needs to address — it certainly is an issue," she said, acknowledging that several petitions have circulated questioning the actions of Superintendent Kim Grady regarding turnover among the administrative staff and dissatisfaction among the faculty.

"We need to determine what the future of leadership is in this district," Greene added.

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In an evaluation of Grady's first year, released last June, the School Committee deemed her "proficient" in most areas of her job, but also indicated that she needs to show improvement in her communication skills.

Another issue that has drawn concern is the proposal for an artificial turf field. Greene noted that because of the pandemic and the rapidly evolving strategy of social distancing, as well as the changing economic impacts, that discussion may look entirely different when it comes back to the fore.

"We will be coming back to that, and it should be a consensus about resources and what's available," she said. "It will have to depend on a better understanding of the world now, especially as it impacts sports."

According to the agreement that formed the regional school district, Greene was appointed to fill the committee seat until the November elections, at which time voters will choose someone to fill out the final two years of Caplinger's term. Greene said she might run for election to the seat, but if there are others who are qualified and file their candidacy, she might reconsider.

Scott Stafford can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com or 413-629-4517.

This story has been modified to correct Greene's tenure as chairwoman of Division VI of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.


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