Pioneer School Committee member resigns, citing confidence in current leadership

  • Pioneer Valley Regional School in Northfield. Staff File Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 9/21/2021 4:04:45 PM

BERNARDSTON — Pioneer Valley Regional School District School Committee member Michael Townsley has submitted his resignation, citing his trust in district leadership as a reason for stepping down.

Townsley was elected as a School Committee member in 2018 to represent Bernardston. He has served as chair of the Budget Subcommittee, and was voted vice chair of the full School Committee in May. He submitted his letter of resignation, effective immediately, to the committee, as well as to Bernardston, following a Sept. 16 School Committee meeting.

“After last week’s meeting, I recognized the committee was in a good place now, with the right people to do the right jobs,” Townsley told the Greenfield Recorder on Tuesday.

He referred to the recent hiring of The Management Solution Inc. (TMS) to fill the duties of business manager, as well as the hiring of new Interim Superintendent Patricia Kinsella. He also cited the leadership of fellow School Committee members and current Chair Julie Burke.

Townsley had initially voiced his intent to resign during a School Committee meeting on Feb. 25, after former School Committee Chair Kristen Gonzalez gave her own resignation. Then, in May, Townsley said he had not formally submitted his resignation to Bernardston as he “had been busy working and was going to submit a letter to the town, and in that short time had been requested by many constituents and School Committee members to come back.”

Speaking via email in May, Townsley said “the committee will continue to move in the right direction as we have come a long way in two and a half years. The Pioneer district will work to provide quality education and that’s our main focus.”

On Tuesday, Townsley echoed these sentiments and said he “felt it was time.”

“We’ve got good people in place now. We should be in a good place,” Townsley said. “I wanted to make sure things were in place to feel comfortable stepping out.”

Bernardston Town Coordinator Louis Bordeaux said the town received notice of the Townsley’s resignation on Monday. The Selectboard is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Town Hall and discussion of this resignation is on the agenda. Bernardston will seek interested candidates who may be appointed by the town moderator to fill the vacancy until the next election cycle.

Bernardston residents who are interested in being appointed to the School Committee may inquire with Bordeaux at 413-648-5401 or bos@townofbernardston.org.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.




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