EASTHAMPTON — The choice came down to taking a risk on passion or going with a proven track record ready to hit the ground running as the Easthampton School Committee voted on a new superintendent Wednesday night.
After two full days of site visits, meet-and-greets and public interviews that wrapped up a process lasting several months, the committee selected Allison LeClair as the district’s new superintendent from two finalists.
Between LeClair and the other finalist, Andrew Berrios, the committee said the choice was a win-win situation.
LeClair has been assistant superintendent of Agawam public schools since 2012. Berrios has been principal of Smith Academy since 2012, and was vice principal of Chicopee Fairview Veterans Memorial Middle School from 2009 to 2012.
“I want to thank the search committee for giving us two excellent candidates who have so much to offer the district,” School Committee member Marissa Carrere said.
During the jam-packed final two days, first LeClair on Tuesday then Berrios on Wednesday took turns visiting all of the schools in the district and meeting with school officials before heading to Easthampton High School for meet-and-greets and public interviews.
On their respective nights, the candidates fielded the same 12 questions from the School Committee on such topics as handling incidents of bias, balancing educational mandates with budget concerns and dealing with polarized viewpoints.