Interim principal sought for Bernardston Elementary

  • Bernardston Elementary School. Staff File Photo

  • Bernardston Elementary School Principal Kelly Carriere, pictured in 2019, is resigning, effective Aug. 19. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 8/11/2022 3:49:41 PM
Modified: 8/11/2022 3:46:24 PM

BERNARDSTON — Following Bernardston Elementary School Principal Kelly Carriere’s resignation, all three schools in the Pioneer Valley Regional School District will have interim principals at the helm for the upcoming school year.

While the district will soon find itself in the position of having no long-term principals on staff, Superintendent Patricia Kinsella sees this as an opportunity to better develop long-term visioning for the district and to ensure it hires permanent principals who can make those plans flourish. In an interim capacity, James Trill was hired at Northfield Elementary School and John Carter will lead Pioneer Valley Regional School.

“What is really interesting to me is, I am not concerned about this; structurally, we’re in good shape,” Kinsella commented, noting this was the first time in her career she saw her district with three interim principals. “This is an opportunity to figure out what we want in our long-term building leadership.

“We have a fantastic veteran filling in at Northfield and we have a wonderful person in his first administrative role at Pioneer,” Kinsella said of Trill and Carter. “No matter what, we’re going to have a strong person at (Bernardston Elementary School).”

Carriere is resigning after being “offered an unanticipated opportunity that is in even better alingment with her professional interests. Her last day on the job will be Aug. 19. The district is now looking for an interim principal in a shortened process, according to a newsletter written by Kinsella.

“As this is a late summer search, we are simply not able to proceed with some of the standard protocols, such as conducting a community survey to identify the most desired traits in a school leader,” the district newsletter states. “I appreciate your understanding of the need to move forward expeditiously.”

The search for Bernardston Elementary’s interim principal is being conducted by a committee that includes Kinsella, two school parents or guardians, three Pioneer Valley Regional Education Association (PVREA) members and two Pioneer Valley Association of Support Personnel (PVASP) members.

Kinsella said Carriere informed the district she would be leaving on Aug. 5 and the search committee was put together later that day.

“We are on it. … Our ability to respond quickly and effectively is a testament to this team we’re building at Pioneer and we’re excited,” she said. “We have a nimble administrative team and within several hours we had a posting online. By the end of the day we had viable applicants.”

Candidate interviews began Thursday and Kinsella is hopeful the district will have a principal in place by Aug. 19. Students will return to all three schools on Aug. 31.

Kinsella thanked Carriere for her work as principal over the last three years.

“We are so grateful for her leadership at (Bernardston Elementary) during one of the most challenging times in public education in recent memory,” Kinsella said. “Dr. Carriere was at the helm of the school while so many adjustments needed to be made, both to operations and teaching and learning. Again, the district is grateful for her services.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at or 413-930-4081.


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