Last week, local voters elected seven candidates to the Mt. Greylock Regional School District School Committee. Four members are from Williamstown and three members are from Lanesborough. Three will serve two year terms, while the rest will be members for four years. Joe Bergeron will serve as committee chair as a result of a vote at the committee’s first meeting last Thursday.
Among the several changes brought on by last year’s district regionalization was the move from three separate school committees to one. Since regionalization, a Transition Committee has been acting as the interim school committee. Members of this committee included five members – Al Terranova, Joe Bergeron, Steven Miller, Regina DiLego, and Dan Caplinger – that were elected to the new MGRSD School Committee.
School Committee members who were already serving on the Transition Committee claimed that the experience that they have will help them be productive in the coming years. Caplinger told the Echo that “my experience would provide continuity among school committee representatives during the ongoing district transition.” Similarly, Bergeron said that “I have been involved daily, often hourly, in every facet of the district’s movement over the last couple of years. That commitment has given me the opportunity to develop knowledge of what is possible with a school district or a building project and how to achieve those possibilities and build hope and progress for the future.” Considering five out of the seven members on the School Committee were on the Transition Committee, this experience and continuity will certainly be present over the next few years.
School Committee members who are not new to the scene are looking to finish what they have started as well as dive deeper into their goals. “many of the big issues are nearing resolution and we can turn our energies to other items,” explained Steven Miller. Miller, who is a math professor at Williams College, has put a sizeable amount of his energy as a committee member into calculations, from the proportioning of building project payments to the allocation of state funds among the three schools in the district. Miller said that “I want to finish the job and make sure all goes well” during his term.
According to Miller, another important goal would be to foster “an environment where students, staff and administrators can discuss concerns and offer suggestions; if I am fortunate enough to serve again I will continue to work to encourages these conversations.” This goal is likely an important one to community members who remember the high tensions in the fall regarding contract negotiations and the temporary job action.
The new School Committee is not completely full of transition committee members, however. Christina Conry will sit on one of the Lanesborough four-year seats, and Alison Carter on one of the Williamstown two-year seats.
Editor’s note: this article is simply an overview of the new School Committee’s creation. An update on what this committee is currently working on will be published soon.