Diana Bonneville named Hampshire Regional School District’s new superintendent

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Staff Writer
Published: 3/30/2021 8:53:02 PM

WESTHAMPTON — The Hampshire Regional School District’s school committees have selected Diana Bonneville, currently the interim superintendent of South Hadley Public Schools, as the district’s next superintendent.

Pending contract negotiations, Bonneville will take over the role currently filled on a temporary basis by interim superintendent Michael Sullivan, who was selected to fill this position last September following the resignation of former Superintendent Aaron Osborne.

Margaret Larson, chairwoman of the Hampshire Regional School Committee, said that Bonneville stood out to the school committees as the most experienced candidate.

“We were looking for an experienced superintendent, and we didn’t get that amongst our finalists,” Larson said, “but we did get an experienced acting superintendent.”

Members were also “impressed with the work (Bonneville) did with COVID in South Hadley, her apparent good crisis management skills and unflappability in collaboration,” Larson said. “Those were things that kept being mentioned during our meeting.”

Before her role as South Hadley interim superintendent, Bonneville was the South Hadley High School principal, starting in 2012. She was previously a social studies teacher and served in principal and assistant principal roles in Northampton and Hadley. Bonneville has a doctorate in education policy, research and administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“The one thing that I’ve learned along the way in the educational field is if it feels right, feels like a good fit, then go for it,” Bonneville said of her selection in a statement to the Gazette. “Go for it with all of your gusto. Now that the frosting is off the cake, it is time to go to work.”

She added, “I love that each school is uniquely different and special, yet collectively all believe that every student can succeed.”

The district’s five individual school committees must cast one vote as a group, and these five collective votes are then used to determine the superintendent. The five collective votes must be unanimous, though votes within the individual committees may not be. The Hampshire Regional School District includes Southampton, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Worthington and Chesterfield-Goshen public schools.

The committees did not originally cast a unanimous vote, Larson said, but after rounds of discussion, agreed to select Bonneville.

Bonneville was previously a finalist for a permanent position as superintendent of the South Hadley School District. Though the district’s School Committee commended her performance in the interim role, members ultimately selected Jahmal Mosley, superintendent of Nashua, New Hampshire public schools for the position.

The Hampshire Regional district narrowed 11 applicants down to four finalists: Bonneville; Beth Choquette, principal of Bridge Street School in Northampton; Susan Henrichon, assistant superintendent of Oxford Public Schools; and Stacey Jenkins, principal of Anne T. Dunphy School in Williamsburg.

Last week, the committee interviewed the finalists in publicly broadcasted meetings. If contract negotiations are successful, Bonneville is set to start in her new role in July.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.


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