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Frontier Superintendent Nash to retire

DEERFIELD — After 12 years leading the Frontier Regional School and Union 38 school districts, Superintendent Regina Nash is retiring at the end of the school year.

Her last day is June 30.

“I feel privileged to have worked with many talented, gifted and creative individuals throughout my 12 years here. The dedicated work of the districts’ central office staff, administrators, teachers and support personnel created successful schools that are the pride of the four towns and well respected by educators across Massachusetts,” Nash wrote in a letter to the local school committees.

In the summer of 2001, Nash was hired to lead the southern Franklin County schools, bringing with her experience serving as superintendent in Vermont and working for the State Education Department in Virginia.

As superintendent, Nash helped to educate about 1,700 students in Whately, Deerfield, Conway and Sunderland.

“She’s an institutional memory,” said Frontier Regional School Principal Martha Barrett. “She brought a lot of continuity and consistency.”

Barrett worked with Nash for 11 years. Nash hired Barrett as one of two co-principals at Frontier Regional School along with Donald Skroski of Whately in 2002.

“I feel a deep sense of loyalty to her. She’s certainly given me freedom to do my job,” Barrett said.

“It will be a loss,” said Kenneth Cuddeback, chairman of the Deerfield School Committee. “She’s been a very stable force in the district and a proven leader. She’s leaving us with a solid foundation.”

Cuddeback credits Nash for keeping the five schools aligned with current best practice standards.

“I’ve worked with several superintendents over the years. She’s done an outstanding job,” said Bob Decker, member of the Frontier Regional School Committee. “I’m sorry to see she’s leaving.”

In a joint meeting on Thursday, the Frontier Regional School Committee and the four Union 38 School Committees accepted Nash’s retirement and set steps for finding a replacement.

The five school committees agreed to conduct an internal search within the school districts lead by a five-member search committee.

The search committee would post the position internally for 10 days and then review the applicants and schedule interviews.

If no internal candidates apply, the search committee would have to seek direction from the five school committees, Decker said.

“We’d have to go back to the school committees, because we didn’t vote to do a nationwide search,” Decker said.

A nationwide search could cost between $15,000 and $20,000, an amount the districts have not budgeted for, Decker said.

“I expect someone will apply internally,” Decker said. “We have some very good staff.”

The search committee is made up of Decker, Jamison Isler from the Deerfield School Committee, Donald Skroski from the Whately School Committee, and Robert Moriarty from the Conway School Committee. The Sunderland School Committee has not appointed a member yet because not all members were present at the joint meeting.

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