Pioneer names Abramian new athletic director

  • Ernest Abramian was named the Pioneer Valley Regional School District’s new athletic director, replacing Gina Johnson. Staff Photo/Zack DeLuca

Staff Writer
Published: 11/21/2019 6:54:33 PM

NORTHFIELD — Ernest Abramian is the Pioneer Valley Regional School District’s new athletic director, replacing Gina Johnson.

According to Superintendent Jonathan Scagel, the district’s Hiring Committee “unanimously put Abramian forward to be hired.” Wednesday was his first official day.

The decision comes in the wake of Johnson’s removal from the athletic director position. She received a letter notifying her of her removal on Nov. 4. Johnson held two positions at Pioneer as the athletic director and full-time physical education teacher — the latter role she has maintained.

According to previous conversations with Terry Cole, a lawyer from Pyle Rome Ehrenberg PC’s Northampton office assigned to Johnson through the teacher’s union, there were two main reasons given for her termination in a notice from Scagel. He said the notice stated Johnson had not provided adequate bus transportation to and from sporting events. A second reasoning was a claim that Johnson had broken a rule that parents are not allowed to paint the athletic fields. However, Cole said evidence shows Johnson had directed herself and other Pioneer coaches to paint the fields.

Neither Scagel or Cole could be reached for comment regarding whether Johnson’s appeal of her removal is ongoing.

Prior to Abramian being named to the athletic director position, Pioneer Principal Kevin Burke was tasked with fulfilling the immediately required duties of the role.

Abramian is currently the health and biomedical science teacher, in his third year at Pioneer. He has a wrestling background as both an athlete and a coach, and has served as a personal trainer for high school and college athletes.

“He teaches students in grades seven through 12, and is well respected by students, staff and administrators,” Scagel said in an announcement released Wednesday.

Abramian earned his bachelor’s degree from Springfield College and is in the process of completing his master’s degree in education.

“I am very excited for the opportunity,” Abramian said of his new role. “(I am) looking forward to working with coaches and staff to make sure our students have a fun and exciting experience at Pioneer.”

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.

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