Four educators interested in Easthampton’s interim superintendent position

EASTHAMPTON — The School Committee has announced that four external candidates have expressed an interest in becoming the interim leader of the city’s public schools next school year.

In working with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees on the city’s interim superintendent search, the committee authorized the association to reach out to candidates.

Liz Lafond, a field director for the association, said that she and Glenn Koocher, the executive director of the association, spoke with candidates who are available in western Massachusetts “who are all willing and certainly are all capable of stepping in, in an interim way, and keeping things afloat.”

On Monday, the committee agreed to offer interviews to Maureen F. Binienda, interim superintendent at Quaboag Regional School District; Roland R. Joyal Jr., executive director of Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative in West Springfield; Mary Jane Rickson, principal of Murdock High School in Winchendon; and Marlene A. DiLeo, superintendent at Ware Public Schools.

Binienda, who holds a master’s degree of education from Harvard University and a master’s degree of education from Fitchburg State College, was previously superintendent of Worcester Public Schools.

Joyal, who holds a master’s degree in education from Springfield College and a certificate of advanced graduate studies from the University of Massachusetts, was previously the assistant superintendent of Chicopee Public Schools.

Rickson, who holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from American International College, has previously worked as an interim superintendent in North Brookfield and Maynard public schools, and was also the assistant superintendent director at Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School in Palmer.

DiLeo, who holds a doctorate of education from the University of Massachusetts, previously served as a principal in Ware and Holyoke. DiLeo was also a finalist in Northampton’s interim superintendent search, and a finalist in superintendent searches for the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District and school districts in Leicester and Athol-Royalston.

Mayor Nicole LaChapelle said all four seem to “have a great body of experience, but are very different.”

While the option to submit applications for external candidates is closed, internal candidates have until Tuesday to apply for the interim superintendent position.

The community will have a chance to meet the candidates during the week of May 22, when site visits and meet-and-greets are tentatively scheduled.

The committee will finalize questions they have for the interim candidates on Tuesday in a work session.

Interviews have been tentatively scheduled to take place Saturday, June 3, Sunday, June 4, and Monday, June 5, with a possible vote on June 5 and a possible decision on Monday, June 12, Chairperson Cynthia Kwiecinski said.

The district is in need of an interim superintendent after the committee’s unsuccessful and controversial search for a permanent replace for Allison LeClair, who is retiring in June.

Emily Thurlow can be reached at

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