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Superintendent McCandless Explains Decision To Leave Pittsfield For Mount Greylock

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Pittsfield Public Schools
Dr. Jake McCandless

The superintendent of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts public schools is leaving for another job in Berkshire County. 

Compounding the challenges of the fall semester – from financial uncertainty to the logistics of planning a late, remote start to the year because of the pandemic – Dr. Jake McCandless, 49, made his intentions to leave for the neighboring Mount Greylock Regional School District clear this week.

“It’s really a family-based decision and letting me be the kind of leader that I want to be in a district where it’s perhaps just less bureaucratic in some ways than it is in the city of Pittsfield and more hands-on and personable,” McCandless told WAMC.

He first became the superintendent of the county’s largest community in 2013. Mayor Linda Tyer called his decision difficult news for the city, but said she had faith in the school department to weather the transition. McCandless, who was making more than $169,000 in Pittsfield, has been offered roughly the same amount of money for his first year at Mount Greylock, with the second and third years to be negotiated.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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