One of PVPA’s founders named interim school head

  • The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School is located on Mulligan Drive in South Hadley.

For the Recorder
Monday, April 16, 2018


Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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SOUTH HADLEY — One of the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School’s founders, Marc Kenen, has been named the new interim executive director, the school’s trustees announced Tuesday.

“His strong leadership skills and his deep understanding of PVPA’s mission and the role it plays in public education in the Pioneer Valley will be essential in bringing stability to the school’s leadership team and moving PVPA forward,” Melinda Winter, president of the PVPA trustees, said in a statement.

PVPA trustees voted in Kenen, one of three finalists for the job, last week. He replaced acting head of school Brent Nielsen on Monday. Nielsen had been serving as the school’s head and director of student services.

It’s been a tumultuous year at PVPA. Former head of school George Simpson was fired Feb. 26, just six months into the job, after being arrested on drug charges. Simpson had replaced Scott Goldman, who was placed on administrative leave in May 2017 a few weeks before his tenure was set to expire.

For the past 16 years, Kenen served as the executive director of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association. Prior to that he was director of the Student Center for Educational Research and Advocacy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and worked as a community organizer for Boston Mobilization for Survival.

“We’re very lucky to have him,” Winter said.

Kenen is also a father to two PVPA graduates.