New Southern Berkshire Regional superintendent scores high marks while facing district challenges

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SHEFFIELD — After a difficult start to the school year, Superintendent Beth Regulbuto received a positive first-year evaluation by members of the School Committee.

The board's subcommittee report on Regulbuto, who was hired in spring 2017, praised her commitment to professional development, learning about the district, building relationships and boosting communication with the School Committee, town leaders and the school community.

The Southern Berkshire Regional School District serves Alford, Egremont, Monterey, New Marlborough and Sheffield.

"Beth spent a lot of time listening and building relationships, and understanding all the moving pieces and how they fit together," said David Travis, a member of the evaluation subcommittee. "She's made encouraging progress, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next."

This school year has given Regulbuto plenty of opportunities to prove her mettle, including suspicious threats to the school community (that upon investigation posed no danger), a battle among member towns over whether to open the South Egremont School, allegations of bullying and mismanagement against the superintendent by former faculty and staff, and parents frustrated by safety and faculty changes at the beginning of the year.

Regulbuto said that she is working toward the district's growth, as well as her own.

"My goals encompass a lot of things, not just my own professional growth, but what it would look like, be like — a curriculum that's going to move students' achievements forward," she said.

Regulbuto said that, in the coming academic year, she would like to improve teacher evaluations, continue building community relationships, promote a professional development plan for staff and faculty, and develop more college and career pathways for students.

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The evaluation

The evaluation by the subcommittee considered professionalism, student learning, teacher development, community engagement, school safety and creating a culture that encourages improvement.

What might have impressed the subcommittee the most, though, is Regulbuto's commitment to creating clear directives and standards, as well as opportunities for feedback for faculty and staff. The report stated that Regulbuto models an "exemplary" culture of professionalism and skill development, and described her as someone who is a "strong listener" and "consensus builder." She's "optimistic yet realistic."

The report applauded the district's improved communication under Regulbuto, which included having the website redesigned and increased use of social media.

"Beth isn't concerned exclusively with dollars and cents — with every choice, she has continued to keep student outcomes in focus," the report stated.

Regulbuto said she wanted to thank everyone who helped make her first year as superintendent "wonderful."

"It has truly been a wonderful year at SBRSD, and a year of tremendous personal and professional growth," she said. "I want to thank the School Committee, my administrative team, the faculty and staff, and the school community for the all the support over this last year, and I am looking forward to continuing the great work we have started into next year."

Kristin Palpini can be reached at kpalpini@berkshireeagle.com, @kristinpalpini, 413-629-4621.


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