New Athol-Royalston supt. appointed

Recorder Staff
Last modified: 2/23/2016 8:25:52 AM
ATHOL — Pending negotiations, Steven Meyer will be the new superintendent of the Athol-Royalston Regional School District.

Athol Selectman and Athol-Royalston School Committee member Mitchell Grosky said that Meyer will take over the job in the coming school year, pending successful contract negotiations.

“I think that bodes well for the future of the schools here in Athol and Royalston,” Grosky said of Meyer’s appointment.

Currently assistant superintendent and director of educational services for the district, Meyer is set to replace outgoing superintendent of 11 years Anthony Polito.

Meyer said he is to begin July 1, when Polito retires. This is his third year in the district, with one year as assistant superintendent and two as high school principal. Meyer expressed optimism that the work being done at the elementary level will end the district’s school choice woes and free it from the state’s Level 4 ranking.

“I think we’ve got an exciting time coming ahead with the opening of the new elementary school ... and that’s a great opportunity to really take some steps forward as a district,” Meyer said.

A search committee including School Committee members, parents, staff and community members narrowed the field to three finalists, and Grosky said Meyer was the unanimous pick of the search committee and of the School Committee at a special meeting Monday.

Next up, Grosky said, the School Committee will be looking to appoint a principal for the new Athol Community Elementary School currently under construction. Grosky said the new 555-child pre-kindergarten through fourth grade school is to open in September. The new school will take all Athol elementary students, closing the Pleasant Street, Riverbend and Sanders Street schools. Royalston Community School will remain. The district is currently in Level 4 in the state’s 1-5 ranking system, based on the Level 4 status of the tiny Riverbend School. Grosky said Riverbend is home to only about 55 students and a high special needs population, and it is hoped that merging the schools will automatically raise the district to Level 3.

Meyer said the district has a Level 4 turnaround plan, has been working with educational consultants at the elementary level, and the modern facility and the ability to consolidate resources will improve education.

“We’re hoping that not only having a state-of-the-art facility but also having quality educational programs in that facility we’re going to hope o turn the corner on school choice and really just improve our student learning and move forward,” Meyer said.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: 
ccurtis@recorder.com 
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257




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