Proietti elected new Greenfield School Committee chair

  • Amy Proietti was elected chair of the Greenfield School Committee during its reorganizational meeting last week. Staff File Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 1/14/2020 6:12:48 PM
Modified: 1/14/2020 6:12:00 PM

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield School Committee now has a new chair, vice chair and secretary, having elected new officers during its first meeting of 2020.

The new officers are: Chair Amy Proietti, Vice Chair Susan Eckstrom and Secretary Glenn Johnson.

Last week’s meeting was attended by newly elected members Proietti, Jean Wall and Mayor Roxann Wedegartner. Re-elected members Johnson and Eckstrom joined Susan Hollins and Katie Caron, who were not up for election in 2019.

In choosing a chair, Johnson nominated Eckstrom and Caron nominated Proietti. Ultimately, Proietti won in a vote of four to three.

Proietti said running the governance structure at Greenfield Community College made her qualified for the position of chair.

“I’m interested in creating a School Committee that is accessible to the public, that stays on tasks, that has well-defined decision making,” Proietti said. “I think I can improve upon what’s transpired in recent years and for those reasons I would like to have your vote for chair.”

In advocating for why she should be chair, Eckstrom noted her two years of experience serving on the School Committee.

“What I’ve learned is that you really don’t know how the School Committee works until you’ve had a year, a year and a half or two years under your belt,” she said. “I’m also really excited about our new committee. I’m interested in heralding things forward and working with everyone.”

Hollins argued in favor of Eckstrom, saying that having had four years of experience in school governance, she’s never seen someone chair the School Committee without having served on the committee previously.

“We’re the second or third largest employer in the area, we use the largest amount of resources. There is a lot of specific training related to education,” Hollins said. “There’s an awful lot to an educational institution, plus we have stuff in process that’s really complicated. ... It’s really important that people first get an understanding of the school system.”

Wedegartner, who seconded both nominations, said she felt both candidates were great options.

“I think School Committee experience is important, but at the same time, members come to the committee with certain skills,” she said. “I have every reason to believe that Amy Proietti is someone who is competent to get up to speed very fast. … I would encourage each member to consider each person individually as opposed to whether they’ve had experience or not.”

Speaking to why he nominated Eckstrom, Johnson said he found her caring and experienced as a parent of a child with special needs.

“You’re someone who can see the details of the finances, and who listens to the members of the committee and has relationships with each one,” Johnson said to Eckstrom. “I think that your ability to value relationship-building and seeing things from different perspectives has been an asset to the committee and would serve you well as chair.”

After Proietti’s election, Wedegartner nominated Eckstrom for vice chair and Proietti nominated Caron. Eckstrom won by a vote of five to one, with Proietti abstaining.

Eckstrom said she was surprised by the nominated.

“I’d be happy to work with the team,” she said.

Caron, who was vice chair in 2019, said she would be excited to continue in the role if elected.

“I think having someone with experience is going to be great to support someone who doesn’t have as much experience,” she said. “But I think Susan is great.”

Johnson was nominated for the position of secretary by Eckstrom, which was seconded by Caron. He was elected unanimously.

Reach Melina Bourdeau at or 413-772-0261, ext. 263.

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