The Recorder – The Mary Lyon Foundation is looking for a new CEO

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Posted: 7/9/2020 12:42:38 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS – After three decades at the helm of the Mary Lyon Foundation, Sue Samoriski is considering stepping down as CEO.

“I feel that after 30 years, as a founder, it is important for the organization to be strong and independent,” she said.

Samoriski said she started writing succession plans for the foundation as early as 2008, in anticipation of the day when she felt she could “go safely away” and was confident the organization would continue to thrive. .

“It was my dream to be able to take a step back and see the organization continue to grow and prosper,” she said. “I will continue to volunteer occasionally for the Mary Lyon Foundation, and when we have a new director on board, I will be there to help and make sure they have all the tools they need and all the connections they need. need to continue leading the organization. ”

A newly formed search committee plans to launch a search this fall for a new executive director, hoping to have one in place by January 2021.

The foundation, created by Samoriski in 1990, was incorporated in 1991 in the name of Mary Lyon, “a 19th century pioneer in the education of women and advocate for opportunities and quality education for all,” according to the site. Foundation web. The association supports education in Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Hawley, Heath, Plainfield, Rowe and Shelburne.

Samoriski said that over the past 30 years, the foundation has sponsored 23 conferences on special education; hosted summer programs, a literature festival and an annual spelling competition; and received grants for schools. And, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mary Lyon Foundation worked with cities to provide resources for teachers, students, families and school administrators.

In addition to finding an executive director, the foundation is also looking to hire an executive assistant, Samoriski said.

“This position involves supporting a very busy non-profit office and assisting the board of directors and our committees, and supporting our campaign work as well as the executive director,” she said.

The additional support from an assistant is in part due to the fact that the closure of the foundation’s offices on Ashfield Road by the pandemic resulted in a reduction in the availability of volunteer staff.

“There is still work to be done, but it is difficult for many of them to work from home for many reasons,” she said.

Samoriski said she plans to stay with the organization full-time during the 2020-2021 school year, giving her time to show the ropes to a new executive director.

“I am very happy to stay involved and to see new directions evolve,” she said.

Mary Byrne can be reached at [email protected] or 413-772-0261, ext. 263. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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