Finalists picked for Gateway Regional, Hampshire Regional superintendents

  • Kristen Smidy, the principal of Hampshire Regional, stands with her son Andrew Smidy in front of the school in March 2020. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 3/1/2021 9:19:52 PM

HUNTINGTON — Four finalists have been named in the search for the next superintendent for the Gateway Regional School District.

The finalists include Hampshire Regional High School Principal Kristen Smidy and Gateway Regional School District Pupil Services Director Kurt Garivaltis, as well as Battenkill Valley (Arlington, Vermont) Supervisory Union Superintendent William Bazyk and East Longmeadow High School Principal Gina Flanagan.

The finalists were selected by the Superintendent Search Subcommittee of the Gateway Regional District School Committee.

“We feel we got a great group of candidates,” said Jason Forgue, chair of the subcommittee.

The four finalists were drawn from 22 applications and eight semifinalists.

“We were quite surprised and certainly fortunate to have so many people apply,” Forgue said. “It was a pleasant encumbrance.”

The finalists will now be participating in school and community forums that will start next week. The full School Committee will then interview the finalists during the last two Wednesdays of March.

Forgue urged the public to get involved in the hiring process, and said that he will be taking public input into consideration.

“Please don’t be a silent partner,” he said.

The School Committee plans on making an offer to its preferred candidate in April. Current Superintendent David Hopson is serving in his 18th year in the position and will retire this summer.

Hampshire Regional

Four finalists have been named for Hampshire Regional School District superintendent, three of whom work in education in Hampshire County.

The finalists, announced in a Monday press release, are South Hadley Public Schools interim Superintendent Diana Bonneville; Beth Choquette, principal of Northampton’s Bridge Street School; Stacey Jenkins, principal of the Anne T. Dunphy School in Williamsburg; and Susan Henrichon, assistant superintendent of Oxford Public Schools. Oxford is a community in Worcester County, but Henrichon has previously worked in Easthampton and Holyoke as well.

The four finalists were selected from 11 initial applicants and eight semifinalists.

“I’m delighted with the caliber of these candidates,” said Margaret Larson, chair of the Hampshire Regional Search Committee. “I think we have four women who have the talent and drive to really make a difference.”

Members of School Committees in the district will now be conducting site visits of the home districts of the finalists. The finalists will also be visiting the districts in Hampshire Regional and their interviews before the district’s five School Committees will be conducted on March 23 and March 24 in joint public sessions.

The school committees that are part of the Hampshire Regional School District are the Hampshire Regional School Committee, Southampton’s William E. Norris School Committee, the Williamsburg School Committee, the Westhampton School Committee and the Chesterfield-Goshen Regional School Committee. The district serves the communities of Westhampton, Williamsburg, Southampton, Chesterfield and Goshen, with the town of Worthington sending its high school and middle school students there as well.

The selection of the new superintendent will take place the week of March 29. The next superintendent will succeed Michael Sullivan, the district’s interim superintendent.

Cummington photo winners

Five winners have been named in the I Heart Cummington photo contest.

The contest, which ran for much of the month of February, was put on by the Cummington Cultural District Committee with the assistance of the Hilltown Community Development Corp. Embedded in the contest was a survey that will be used in the town’s application to have a state-designated cultural district, which would include Main Street and the village center.

Lysander Woodard won for a picture of a farmstead on Potash Hill, while Fionnghuala Reagan won for a sunset picture, Joanna Jaracz won for a picture of the night sky and Katy Eiseman won for a picture of sheep. Winner Paula Zindler’s picture of Cummington clouds received the most votes.

“We’ve got some wonderful eyes in Cummington,” said Kate Bavelock, director of Community Programs at the Hilltown CDC, who helped to organize the event.

In total, 140 people voted on 35 photos.

“I think that the committee is interested in making it an annual event,” Bavelock said.

Each of the winners, which were decided by age category, were given prizes that included A2Z Science & Learning Toy Store gift certificates for the younger competitors and a watercolor painting by Cummington artist June Ferrin for Zindler.

Bera Dunau can be reached at

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