NORTHFIELD — After interviewing three candidates in one night, the Pioneer Valley Regional School District School Board has voted to enter negotiations with The Management Solution Inc. (TMS) to fill the position of district business manager.
Andy Paquette, president and owner of TMS, interviewed before the school committee by video chat on August 18. After deliberation, the members voted to offer TMS the position of Commercial Director. A salary or associated fee for the company’s services is still being negotiated, as well as the length of the contract, according to school board member Alan Genovese, who chaired the business manager search subcommittee.
The other two candidates interviewed for the position of business manager were Juli Copoys, who recently worked as an academic affairs administrator for South Buffalo Charter School in Buffalo, NY, and Peter Roche, who worked as a guest speaker at Framingham State University and as Commercial Director of Beacon Charter School in Woonsocket, RI
Paquette said TMS will be in existence for 15 years in September and its primary purpose is to “provide school districts throughout New England with business management services” on an interim or extended basis. He said the company assigns a TMS employee as the primary contact for the school district administration and school committee, but then the entire company provides “behind the scenes” support.
“The bullpen, as I affectionately call it, you won’t see them,” Paquette said.
Prompt with questions from the pioneer school’s committee about success in other districts, he said TMS’ track record has shown it “can make significant change in less than a year.”
“Even I would say, six months or less, if you wanted to look at a timeline for that, because we just bring the amount of experience we have and the bandwidth we have,” Paquette said. “With our full-time and part-time staff at our disposal, we have many resources ready to help districts.”
While details of the Pioneer-TMS contract are being negotiated, Paquette told the school committee that a primary contact typically works onsite in the district a few days a week and will be in “constant contact” while working remotely on rest of the week, in addition to attending a school committee meeting each month.
School board chairwoman Julie Burke noted that the Pioneer Valley Regional School District is currently operating under state oversight. Paquette said his company has experience working with districts in these circumstances.
During the post-interview discussion, school board member Michele Giarusso said she was in favor of TMS, noting the company’s experience in implementing cost-cutting measures in many places. other school districts. She said TMS has worked with the Greenfield School Department for several years and after a six-month contract last year, Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont Regional School Districts have renewed their contract with TMS for another full year. .
“I think what I appreciated most about them is that they have a very deep and broad knowledge in a variety of areas,” Genovese said of TMS.
School committee member Stephanie Winslow said she was “blown away” by Paquette’s knowledge and the depth of service TMS is willing to offer. Committee member Michael Townsley said he appreciated the company’s experience and there was no minimum length required to establish a contract, leaving the district open to extend a contract with TMS or seek individuals to fill the position at a later date.
Townsley offered to offer the position to TMS and begin negotiations for a contract. Ten members voted in favour, with Nathan Swartz abstaining because he was not present for Paquette’s interview at the start of the meeting. Member David Young was absent.
Zack DeLuca can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4579.