Pioneer School Committee to interview business manager, interim superintendent candidates this week

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

Staff Writer
Published: 8/16/2021 2:32:26 PM

NORTHFIELD — The Pioneer Valley Regional School District School Committee will interview multiple candidates for the positions of business manager and interim superintendent this week.

School Committee members have scheduled interviews for applicants to the business manager position starting at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, and applicants for interim superintendent starting at 6:15 p.m. Thursday. Committee Chair Julie Burke said it is possible the committee could commit to a hire after conducting its interviews.

“It would be wonderful if we can choose, but of course, we will do our due diligence to be sure we make the right choice,” Burke said.

According to Burke, a candidate who previously interviewed with the School Committee for the business manager position on July 29 has since withdrawn her application. Three new candidates have applied since, she said, and will come before the committee on Wednesday.

The School Committee has also scheduled interviews with candidates interested in the interim superintendent’s position for Thursday, following the resignation of Jonathan Scagel. During the committee’s latest meeting, Burke told fellow members that the Massachusetts Association of School Committees had reviewed nine applications and made recommendations to the Pioneer School Committee to bring forward select candidates for interviews. An Interim Superintendent Search Subcommittee will meet Tuesday to review potential interview questions and the process.

Burke said she was notified Aug. 13 that one of the recommended candidates, Dr. Frank Tiano, had accepted a position elsewhere. This leaves the two remaining candidates, Patricia Kinsella and Carole Learned-Miller, to interview with the School Committee for the interim superintendent’s position. The committee plans to hire for a one-year term, with the possibility of extending the position.

“They have met the qualifications from the job posting, so I believe we’re bringing forward candidates that are a potentially great fit for the district,” Burke said of all the candidates.

In the meantime, the School Committee has asked Special Education Director Christie Fontaine to serve as acting superintendent for necessary responsibilities to be met as the school year approaches. Fontaine accepted the position during the Aug. 12 School Committee meeting, and will receive a stipend of $500 a week until an interim superintendent is hired.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-930-4579.

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