South Hadley schools chief Nicholas Young exits district

  • GAZETTE FILE PHOTO GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 11/27/2019 3:57:52 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — Superintendent Nick Young announced this week that he will leave his job at South Hadley Public Schools beginning Monday. He will begin using vacation days next week and remain on the district’s payroll until March 5, his official retirement date.

Young announced this plan in a Tuesday letter to the School Committee, stating that he was accepted into “a rigorous graduate program that starts in a few weeks that requires transition and extensive preparation; thus my need to start my vacation shortly.”

Young, who held the position for 7½ years, will be available on a “limited basis” to assist with interim matters, he wrote to school officials.

“I was invited to an opportunity to study medicine and decided it would be foolish to let the opportunity go,” Young told the Gazette on Wednesday.

“I’ve got the days, and there are a lot of people that can be the interim,” Young said, adding that stepping away over Thanksgiving “made a lot of sense.”

Young has also given notice to American International College that he will leave his position as Dean for Low Residency Programs, he said. He declined to say where he was going to study.

The School Committee will meet for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. in the South Hadley High School Library, where the search for an interim superintendent will be on the agenda. School Committee Chairman Kyle Belanger told the Gazette that he is hopeful the committee will be able to name an interim superintendent at the meeting.

In his letter, Young also recognized that the school is in the midst of a “challenging financial picture.” The district is facing a $950,000 funding gap in the current fiscal year, and Young has said he expects that these problems will persist in future budgets.

Belanger wrote in an email to school personnel that the School Committee is “committed to a collaborative process that designs the road map ahead for us to move forward together.

“We will make this transition one that is full of opportunity,” he said.

“Our school leadership, teachers, staff and administration remains the most dynamic group of educators and school professionals I’ve ever met,” Belanger added in a separate email to parents and community members. “They inspire me each and every day with their innovation, compassion, and content expertise. Their dedication to your children continues to light the path.

“As a committee, we will begin the collaborative process of designing the road map ahead,” he wrote. “We will all move forward together, making this transition one that is full of opportunity for all students and their families.”

Prior to becoming the South Hadley superintendent in 2012, Young was superintendent of Hadley Public Schools for 11 years. At the time that he left Hadley schools, the district owed him between $90,000 and $100,000 for 177 days of unused vacation time.

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


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