‘Amicable settlement’ reached between Pioneer Valley Regional and former AD Gina Johnson

  • Former Pioneer Valley Regional School Athletic Director Gina Johnson, shown here hugging a well-wisher during a rally in her honor last November, reached a settlement in her wrongful termination case with the district earlier this month. STAFF FILE PHOTO/ZACK DELUCA

Staff Writer
Published: 6/12/2020 4:21:47 PM
Modified: 6/12/2020 4:21:33 PM

NORTHFIELD — The Pioneer Valley Regional School District and the Pioneer Valley Regional Education Association have reached a settlement regarding Gina Johnson’s grievance alleging wrongful termination from the position of Athletic Director.

According to Johnson, the “amicable settlement” was reached on June 3.

Despite the settlement, Johnson will not be returning to the Athletic Director position. She did not disclose the full terms of the agreement, but said the district was required to post a public recognition of the settlement.

 “I wanted to clear my name and have some acknowledgement that it was a wrongful termination,” Johnson said on Friday. “It went back and forth for several weeks. We finally reached an agreement, and recognition of what I felt was a wrongdoing.”

A notice, posted on the homepage of the school district website (pvrsdk12.org), said: “The District and Gina Johnson have reached an amicable settlement of her grievance alleging wrongful termination from the position of Athletic Director and are looking forward to the continued success of the Pioneer Valley Regional School District’s athletic program.”

“Once the settlement offer came in, it was settled pretty quickly,” said Claire Brennan of the Pioneer Valley Regional Education Association.

According to Brennan, the settlement agreement was “very cut and dry.” When asked about monetary compensation, Brennan said Johnson had been made whole.

“We’re happy it’s done and that it’s a settlement she’s comfortable and happy with,” Brennan said. “It’s been a really long time, going back and forth. It’s been really stressful for her.”

Johnson received a letter notifying her that she had been terminated from the AD position on Nov. 4. Three days later, students from the Pioneer Valley Regional School marched in the cold, held signs and cheered to contest Johnson’s removal from the athletic director position.

Seven months later, Johnson said she is relieved to have received some closure with the grievance case finished.

“I so much appreciate the support I have received from the kids, and their parents, this entire time,” Johnson said.

Ernest Abramian was named the district’s new AD in late November and has held the position since. Johnson will continue to maintain her role as a full-time physical education teacher at the school. She is also the head coach of the cross country team, and has coached track and field in the past.

Superintendent Jonathan Scagel said he could not provide comment beyond the posting on the school district website.

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




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