Mount Greylock Regional School Committee seeks to fill vacant seat

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WILLIAMSTOWN — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee and its two member towns are embarking on a new procedure to fill a vacancy on the committee.

Joe Bergeron, former committee chairman, resigned June 5 so his family could pursue a professional opportunity on the West Coast. Bergeron had been a School Committee member for three years, serving as chairman of the Williamstown Elementary School Committee and as the first chairman of the newly established regional school district committee.

He is in the process of moving his family to California.

"I love being on the school committee and living here," he told The Eagle. "It's very difficult to step away. I'm going to miss it."

At Monday's Williamstown Select Board meeting, Dan Caplinger, vice chair of the School Committee, explained the process for appointing a new member to the committee to fill an absence. The process is spelled out in the new regional school district agreement adopted last year.

He said that the Lanesborough Select Board, the Williamstown Select Board and the MGRS School Committee would have to convene a joint meeting, to be moderated by the town meeting moderator of the town represented by the absent member. In this case, that would be Williamstown town meeting Moderator Adam Filson.

The joint meeting would consider the applicants and choose one via a simple majority vote, Caplinger noted. According to the regional agreement, the process should be completed within 30 days of the resignation.

Caplinger suggested that the three boards try to set a joint meeting around 5:30 p.m. on June 24 at Mount Greylock High School.

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He added that anyone interested in being appointed to the School Committee should contact the new committee chairwoman Regina DiLego at rdilego@mgrhs.org to submit their candidacy.

Williamstown Select Board Chairman Jeffrey Thomas acknowledged Bergeron's role as committee chairman during a crucial time for the district. "We are grateful to Joe Bergeron for his service to the community," Thomas said.

He noted that Bergeron provided an important leadership role in guiding the district through the complex regionalization process at the same time that the new high school was under construction, along with difficult budget challenges and teacher contract negotiations that came with regionalization.

"It was an extremely challenging and difficult time," Thomas continued. "Joe and everyone on the School Committee deserve our gratitude for all their hard work."

Speaking with The Eagle, Bergeron said he is quite proud "of the way everybody worked together through a lot of stuff, and did it well."

The real challenge, he said, was working on assembling a regional school district and building a high school while the job of educating young people continued on at full speed.

"Modifying a car while driving is not easy, but it was something this team dealt with incredibly well," Bergeron said.

Attempts to reach DiLego for comment regarding her new role as School Committee chairwoman were unsuccessful.

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


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