Belchertown schools appoint Brian Cameron next superintendent

  • Brian Cameron, current assistant superintendent and director of Student Support Services at Belchertown Public Schools, was appointed by the School Committee to serve as the district’s next superintendent.  SUBMITTED PHOTO/CHRISTINA APONTE

Staff Writer
Published: 5/8/2019 4:26:57 PM

BELCHERTOWN — The Belchertown School Committee voted on Tuesday night to appoint Brian Cameron, the district’s current assistant superintendent and director of Student Support Services, as the next superintendent of Belchertown Public Schools. 

Cameron has worked in the district for 13 years, having previously served as the assistant principal and principal of Chestnut Hill Community School and assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning. Cameron is set to start as superintendent on July 1. 

“I’ve always wanted to impact student learning beyond the classroom,” Cameron said to the Gazette on his decision to apply for superintendent, “so this would be the opportunity to do so.”

“It’s a great district, I’ve been here, have excellent relationships, have built rapport with parents, staff, the community,” Cameron added. 

The School Committee voted 5-0 to appoint Cameron as superintendent at a special meeting on Tuesday night. A screening committee had put forward two finalists for the School Committee to consider: Cameron and Woodbury Clift, director of the Department of Youth Services at the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton.

“The applicant pool was very strong, and it was a rich pool,” said School Committee Chairman Michael Knapp. “And honestly it’s really good because it validates that our internal candidate was a well-qualified applicant for the job.”

Knapp cited staff support for Cameron and his work as director of Student Support Services as two factors that tipped the School Committee in Cameron’s favor. 

“It’s a big decision to hire a new superintendent,” Knapp said. “We know we have confidence that Brian can do the job, and there’s something to be said for that. The staff is very comfortable with him, the committee is very comfortable with him, so it’s a good decision.”

Cameron has a master’s in special education from American International College and a master’s in educational administration from Springfield College. 

Cameron said that he hopes to “continue to improve on community and transparency within the district,” and will also advance initiatives such as social and emotional learning, trauma-informed classrooms, and improvements to technology and student achievement. 

While Cameron’s promotion will leave his two roles vacant, both Knapp and Cameron said that the district will prioritize filling the position Student Support Services position, which oversees special education. 

“It’s extremely important,” Knapp said of the director of Student Support Services role, “because there are a lot of students affected by that office.”

About 20 percent of the student population receives assistance from the Student Support Services office, according to Knapp, which can range from occupational therapy to one-on-one paraprofessional support. 

The district may search for a new assistant superintendent, Knapp said, but has operated without the role in the past. 

Current Superintendent Karol Coffin, who has served in the position since the beginning of 2015, announced in January that she will retire at the end of the current school year, effective June 30. 

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at 
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