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Board signs Hollins for 1 year

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield School Committee signed Superintendent Susan Hollins to a one-year contract extension Wednesday for a salary of $150,000.

The contract addendum — which extends Hollins’ employment until June 30, 2014 — was approved 4-0. Daryl Essensa and Mayor William Martin were not present Wednesday and Maryelen Calderwood attended but left before the vote took place.

Hollins, hired as the department’s interim superintendent in 2008 and made permanent superintendent two years later, will see a $10,000 raise from this year. Her base pay will remain at $120,000 — with an additional $30,000 paid for by grants and through revolving accounts, compared to $20,000 this year.

Lunt said before the meeting that he and the superintendent had agreed they were most comfortable pursuing a one-year contract extension, rather than a new contract for a full term.

The contract stipulates that she will be evaluated next year according to the state’s new administrator evaluation process — a year-long process that involves a self-evaluation, collaborative goal setting, progress reports and a committee evaluation.

Hollins will be able to continue to pursue additional paid consulting work and other professional activities outside of Greenfield, although she’ll now be able to do so inside the town as well.

The contract extension stipulates that either Hollins or the committee must give 90 days’ notice if they wish to terminate the contract. Previously, the agreement called for 120 days’ notice.

The committee discussed the addendum for about 30 minutes in executive session before its vote. Then, following the meeting, the contract addendum was signed by Hollins and Lunt.

Prior to going into executive session, member Maryelen Calderwood argued that the committee was violating its own policy because it never voted as a body to ask school attorney Peter Smith to draw up a draft contract.

She said that while she had no problem with the contents of the contract extension, she was opposed to how it was being carried out — and voted against going into executive session before then leaving the meeting.

She quoted a School Committee policy, which says, “A decision to seek legal advice or assistance on behalf of the school system will be made by the Committee.”

Smith disagreed, saying that the policy allows for routine legal actions to happen without committee approval and that a contract addendum was indeed “routine” and standard.

Calderwood also took issue with members not being distributed meeting materials at least three days before the meeting, as another policy stated. Lunt countered that he realized early this week that he had no choice but to schedule the Wednesday meeting because too many of the members will be away at the end of this month.

As it was likely the last meeting of this current committee’s term, both Lunt and Smith publicly thanked outgoing members Day and Doyle for their service. Lunt has also said that this will be his final month as the committee’s chairman.

You can reach Chris Shores at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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