Pioneer announces new principal

  • Bacon

Recorder Staff
Published: 3/31/2016 9:46:58 PM

NORTHFIELD — The Pioneer Valley Regional School has picked a new principal.

After hosting a meet-and-greet with the three finalists for the position, Jean Bacon has been named Pioneer’s next principal.

“It was a difficult decision, but Jean really bubbled right up to the top and I think it’s because of her extensive background in teaching and learning,” said Superintendent Ruth Miller. After meeting with Bacon, members of the school community felt that Bacon was the best match for the job.

The search for a new principal began after former principal William Wehrli resigned from Pioneer Regional School earlier this month after eight years at the district. He left a job as Amherst Regional High School’s assistant principal to take the Pioneer job in 2007.

A search committee, composed of teachers, parents, students and other community members, reviewed 19 applications. After narrowing the pool down to three candidates, the finalists were each given an hour to present their educational philosophies and meet members of the public.

After about a day of deliberation after the public forum, school administrators are now excited to welcome Bacon to the community and look forward to how she will build on the programs already in place at the school.

At the forum on Tuesday night, Bacon promised to amp up academic rigor by introducing more advanced courses. She also said that she plans to work with the school to identify goals.

“Where do you want to be in five years as a school? What challenges do you want in your education?” Bacon asked the audience at the forum on Tuesday night.

A resident of North Bennington, Vt., she has worked in education since 1999. She founded Community Works Research and Development, a consulting firm the Pioneer district says provides research and program development services to public school systems and community-based organizations that serve youth. Bacon later became director of 21st Century Programs at North Adams Public Schools.

Bacon graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in psychology. She earned a master’s in sociology and a doctorate from the University of Chicago. She also has a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Castleton State College, with a major in educational leadership.

The core values of the school, specifically getting students ready for careers and college, is what drew her to Pioneer. She also said she appreciates that the faculty have time to meet and collaborate every week. “I like that it’s a small school. I like to be able to know the school and the families,” Bacon said.

“I’m really excited about the work that she is going to do at Pioneer they are doing great things already, but she is just going to take them to level,” said Miller.

You can reach Lisa Spear at:
lspear@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 280




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