Bernardston Senior Center outreach coordinator steps down

  • The Powers Institute in Bernardston houses the town Senior Center. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

  • Staff Photo/ZACK DeLUCA—

Staff Writer
Published: 2/13/2020 7:02:11 PM
Modified: 2/13/2020 7:02:00 PM

BERNARDSTON — The Senior Center has a new interim outreach coordinator, after Susan Laford stepped down for personal reasons.

At the Council on Aging’s request, Dianne Cornwell — who was the Senior Center’s director before retiring in February 2018 — was appointed as an interim successor by the Selectboard, effective Monday. The position is temporary while the council searches for a permanent replacement.

“We’re very sad to see Susan leave the center,” said Senior Center Director Hayley Bolton. “As we search for a new coordinator, Dianne Cornwell will again joining the Senior Center. Part of what she and I will be working on in the coming weeks is re-evaluating the needs of the position.”

According to Bolton, some of the job’s core responsibilities include creating and maintaining relationships with seniors in the community, conducting home visits/visits to nursing homes and providing application assistance. The job pays $16.56 an hour and involves 12 to 16 hours of work each week.

Bolton said Cornwell’s interim role will help ensure a smooth transition and continuity in the community following Laford’s departure.

“The outreach coordinator really is our lifeline into the community and we’re looking to reach out more to younger seniors,” Bolton said.

In a letter read by Selectboard member Stanley Garland, Laford said the Senior Center feels like her second home. However, she explained her mother is healing at home from a serious sacrum fracture, leading to Laford’s “new job” as a caretaker.

“It is with much sadness that I must step down from my position as outreach coordinator,” she wrote, noting she will maintain a relationship with the Senior Center’s members.

“This decision is very hard, but I know I need to give her the best of me,” Laford wrote of her mother. “I only get one shot at this job and I need to make it a good one.”

Hiring: Monday cook

According to Bolton, the center is also looking to hire a Monday evening cook. This position involves four hours of work per week and pays $15 per hour. In 2019, the Monday evening cook served more than 1,200 meals to seniors and their caregivers.

To apply to be the Monday evening cook, send a cover letter, completed application and resume by mail to “Director, Bernardston Senior Center and COA,” at P. O. Box 504, Bernardston, MA 01337 or by email to Call the Senior Center at 413-648-5413 with questions. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

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

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