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Back to School: Frontier welcoming six new staff members

  • Frontier Regional School. Staff File Photo/Andy Castillo

Staff Writer
Published: 8/29/2019 5:42:31 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Frontier Regional School will start its 2019 to 2020 academic year with a considerable number of new faces.

Second-year Principal George Lanides said five teachers and a guidance counselor have replaced departing staff members. He said Kelsey Cropp has come on board as a guidance counselor while Justin Cheney, Zachary Rom and Kristin McLaughlin have joined as science teachers and Beth Smith will start as a middle school English teacher.

He said five of the departing staff members retired and the sixth took a different job.

Meanwhile, Lanides said Carl Cyr, formerly of Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton, will serve as the new athletic director and will teach physical education.

“It’s always nice to have new teachers, it really is. I’m excited,” Lanides said. “It’s new blood. New blood is always a good thing. It’s nice to get fresh eyes on things.”

While there are no significant staffing differences at Conway Grammar School, change is also in the air at Whately Elementary School, where Christine Sirard replaces music teacher Steve Damon. Principal Kristina Kirton said the music teacher position is a part-time gig, with classes every Wednesday. Kirton also said Amy Tibbetts has come on board as a first-grade teacher, replacing a teacher who did not come back after maternity leave.

Pregnancy has also resulted in some shifts at Sunderland Elementary School, where there are also a couple of long-term substitutes filling in for teachers on maternity leave. Principal Ben Barshefsky also said Kerri McGrath joins Donna Carmody as a fourth-grade teacher.

Deerfield Elementary School Principal Tina Gemme could not be reached regarding changes at her school.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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