PVPA Head of School Scott Goldman announces resignation

  • Scott Goldman will leave as head of Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School at the end of the school year. PVPA photo

Published: 12/5/2016 12:45:10 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — The head of the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School plans to resign at the end of the school year.

Scott Goldman, 55, announced that he will part ways with the school, effective June 2017.

“I hope that I’ve served the community well,” Goldman said Monday. “It was a great experience. I’m grateful for having the chance to have been in that role.”

Goldman has served as PVPA’s head of school for six years.

“When I came to PVPA, the community had recently drafted a strategic action plan with a five-year time frame,” Goldman said. “That really became the blueprint for my work at PVPA over the last five years.”

Reflecting over the summer, Goldman said he had done what he set out to do.

“This was my 31st year working in high schools with high school students,” he said. “I felt like I was looking for a new challenge.”

His announcement at the end of October was a shock to many in the school community, Geoff Sumi, president of the school’s Board of Trustee, wrote in a statement to parents and staff.

“It is with deep regret that the Board of Trustees has accepted Scott Goldman’s surprising resignation as Head of School of PVPA,” Sumi wrote. “Under Scott’s leadership PVPA’s faithfulness to its charter and mission has been the foundation of its academic success.

“Furthermore, during Scott’s tenure, PVPA has been transformed: organizationally and financially PVPA is now a more viable entity; and above all we have a new performance space, long in planning and development, that enables us to showcase the varied talents of PVPA’s dedicated teachers an students,” Sumi wrote.

PVPA is one of three public charter schools in Hampshire County. It serves more than 400 students in grades 7-12 from 60 different cities and towns.

Before coming to PVPA, Goldman served as principal of Amherst Regional High School and Smith Academy in Hatfield. He also helped start the Holyoke Community Charter School.


Among his accomplishments, Goldman wrote in a news release, are improving academic measures; expanding performance opportunities for all students; increasing diversity in both the staff and the student body and developing a highly respected special education program.

“I wanted PVPA to have the best program of any charter school in Western Massachusetts in terms of meeting the needs of students with special needs,” Goldman said.

To do that, Goldman said, the school changed the way it teaches, increased staffing and brought in more professional development support.

“I know that now we tailor to a very diverse group of learners at PVPA that span the full spectrum of abilities,” he said. “I’ve always been passionate about that.”

Looking forward, Goldman said he primarily wants to stay in education.

“One of the things I’ve had the luxury of being able to do over the last several decades — I’ve worked as a school leader in a lot of different settings,” he said. “I’d be very excited about sharing some of those experiences. When you have been doing it as long as I have been, you hopefully get smarter as you go along … I’d love to encourage more people to seek out the position (of principal), be in it for the long run and be successful at it.”

With Goldman’s departure, Sumi said Monday the school loses a really experienced administrator and a really good manager.

A search for a new school head in underway by a hiring committee composed of board members, parents, faculty, staff and students.

“While we are grateful for all of Scott’s accomplishments, which have done much to place PVPA on such solid footing, we are also mindful of the many challenges that remain, and how important it is to identify the best candidate to lead PVPA into the future,” Sumi wrote. “With this goal firmly in mind, we will begin discussions about the parameters of the search process that will culminate in the appointment of the next Head of School for PVPA.”

Sumi said Monday the school was hoping to attract a “large and deep pool of really qualified” applicants.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com

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