Frontier Regional Principal Martha Barrett named new superintendent
Recorder/Paul Franz Martha Barrett at Frontier
DEERFIELD — With a smile and a jovial laugh, Frontier Principal Martha Barrett took a seat outside the school’s media library. She was speechless.
Moments before, the full joint committee of the Frontier Regional School Committee and the four Union 38 school committees had voted unanimously to hire Barrett as the next superintendent of the district. Barrett’s hiring is effective July 1 pending contract negotiations.
Barrett will take on the job, overseeing the education of about 1,700 students, after 20 years in the district. She succeeds Superintendent Regina Nash, who will retire on June 30 after 12 years.
Barrett started off as a substitute teacher at Deerfield Elementary School. She eventually became principal of the Newton School in Greenfield for six years and then Sunderland Elementary School for four years. In 2002, Barrett was hired as the Frontier Regional School principal.
Barrett was the only candidate to apply for the job. She was one of five qualified administrators in the district.
“I love this district. I’ve chosen to stay here. I would not have pursued a superintendent position in another district,” Barrett said.
As a longtime district educator and resident, Barrett doesn’t have any plans to step away from the community. As superintendent she plans to frequently visit each of the five schools to get to know students, teachers and parents. She also looks forward to continuing to chair the Frontier Regional National Honor Society.
“The trouble being from within the district is that people know you,” Barrett said.
But she also knows the community, the school committees and families.
“My learning curve would be small. That knowledge base is important,” Barrett said.
Barrett plans to continue current initiatives in the district, such as technology learning and the mandatory state evaluation system, legislation she believes has been the most important in her career.
While at her new office in Whately, Barrett said she will “try to be inclusive, take the commonsense approach and make sure everyone has an opportunity to speak.”
The search committee chose to hire from within rather than doing a national search because it felt the district already had qualified administrators.
“This union and region has such a good team,” said member Kenneth Cuddeback. “(Hiring from within) says we support what they do.”