Meet the Superintendent Candidates: Allison LeClair

Alice Wanamaker, Journalist

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UPDATE: Allison LeClair has been selected as our next superintendent. A longer interview with her is forthcoming.

NOTE: Allison LeClair was interviewed by the School Committee on April 3rd, 2018, at Easthampton High School.

Andrew Berrios, our other finalist, will be interviewed on April 4th, and his interview will also be made public.

The quotes in this article come from a meeting Allison LeClair had with student representatives from Easthampton High School, and the photos are from a meet-and-greet with staff and community members at Easthampton High School. Andrew Berrios will have similar meetings on April 4th, and a similar article will be posted after that meeting takes place. For more information about either candidate, you can watch their School Committee interviews once they have occurred at http://easthamptonmedia.org/.

Allison LeClair, Ed.D., is currently the assistant superintendent of Agawam public schools, and has been in that position since 2012.

When asked about EHS’s recent undertakings around school climate, LeClair was positive. “Instead of choosing to ignore issues, you are facing it,” she said. Although the events that sparked our climate initiatives were definitely negative, she believes that our work to improve culture can lead to growth within the school: “You have the opportunity to be a role model school for others.”

She thought that the proposed new K-8 school building could give kids “opportunity to be role models and peer supports,” and could lead to valuable interactions between different grade levels. However, she also recognized that a larger building would look very different than our current small schools, and that building a strong culture within the new school would be a critical undertaking if it is built.

When asked about her approach to bullying-related issues, LeClair said that her response would depend on the situation: mediation would be a desirable goal, but “when there’s an imbalance of power, it’s hard to mediate.” Her response, therefore, would vary based on context. However, her vision for the district’s anti-bullying practices would go farther than varied responses. “I would hope that we could get to a point where we prevent the bullying from happening rather than reacting,” she said.

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