CHESHIRE -- A room packed full of Adams-Cheshire Regional School District (ACRSD) parents and staff accepted Kristen Gordon as the new district Superintendent at Monday night's meeting.
Gordon was unanimously appointed the new ACRSD Superintendent by the school committee, stepping into the role when Superintendent Alfred Skrocki retires in October. The contract is for two-and-a-half years, with an estimated salary between $100,000 and $110,000, pending negotiations.
Committee Chairman Paul Butler acknowledged that Gordon would have "big shoes to fill" in taking up Skrocki's well-respected position -- one he's held for 14 years -- but he believes Gordon will continue to demonstrate the promise she's shown since officially becoming Skrocki's understudy earlier in 2012.
"I think Kristen Gordon will easily step into those shoes and give us the school district we want and hope for in the coming years," Butler said.
Member Edward St. John IV reflected on the process undertaken by the committee in searching for a replacement. It began at the end of 2011 and incorporated Massachusetts Association of School Committees to broaden the possible field of candidates to individuals outside the area, even on a national scale.
"We made the right choice," St. John said. "We've gone through a long process and were fortunate to end up having a great candidate internally."
Cheshire Elementary School principal Peter Bachli was
"I'm thrilled that Kristen Gordon is taking over as Superintendent," Bachli ‘s letter said. "The values and high expectations that we have come to know with Al [Skrocki] will continue under Kristen's leadership."
Gordon thanked the ACRSD community for their confidence in her.
"This is obviously a big honor," she said.
Also at the meeting, former committee member of 17 years and Adams Selectmen John Duval was given an honorary award for his service to the district. Skrocki spoke of Duval's service.
"It's been an experience on both sides of the coin, but the appreciation that we have is certainly something everyone here recognizes," he said. "I know we're all pleased that [Duval] has remained in public service as a Selectman in Adams and is playing a different role that still has an impact on kids."
Duval thanked those in attendance.
"Every decision I made [during my service] I felt was best for the students and the district," Duval said. "I hope I made a difference."
In other business, Hoosac Valley principal Henry Duval said this year's Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System English scores for district students grades eight and 10 were "outstanding," and seventh-graders were "solid." Math scores were unavailable at the time of the meeting.
Duval also said the school is planning to invest leftover Race to the Top funds for updated math and English books, and social studies and history books are the district's "greatest need looking forward."