Easthampton superintendent candidate offer revoked after addressing school committee as ‘ladies’

The offer to the final candidate for the superintendent of Easthampton Public Schools was rescinded Thursday.
Published: Apr. 2, 2023 at 7:01 PM EDT
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EASTHAMPTON, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) - The offer to the final candidate for the superintendent of Easthampton Public Schools was rescinded Thursday.

Candidate Vito Perrone told Western Mass News they voted to rescind the offer in an executive session. The reason behind it: allegedly a perceived “microaggression” in an email he sent to school committee members.

“What really rankled me was the people the community of Easthampton is always its usually supportive and welcomed me,” said Perrone.

Vito Perrone was left in shock Thursday after his offer to become the Easthampton Public School district’s next superintendent was rescinded.

He told Western Mass News he was notified by the chairperson of the school committee that his offer would be taken away due to an email he sent to the school committee chairperson and executive assistant to the committee.

We obtained a copy of the email that lists negotiations, including more vacation time. He explained the main focus, was him addressing the school committee as quote “ladies” at the beginning of his email.

“She explained to me that they were insulted by the address, and I said well I grew up in a time the sixties seventies when ladies and gentlemen was a term of respect,” said Perrone. “That’s how I intended it, and I didn’t mean to insult you and was basically told my apology didn’t mean anything and they were going to rescind the offer.”

Perrone said while he was disappointed, it was not about the money, and was taking a $14,000 pay cut to leave his role in West Springfield, as interim superintendent. He was hoping to end his career in Easthampton, where he has fond memories of working at the high school.

“I was a principal here; we built this school, I was principal, we had a lot of great energy and memories here, I was a coach my sons played football here and I just love this community,” said Perrone.

Perrone also expressed how grateful he is for the supported received.

“It means a lot to me that people value what I bring to the table they value who I am as a person and who I am as an instructional leader,” said Perrone.

He said he has nothing against the school committee and hopes everyone could use this situation as something to grow and learn from.

“I don’t want there to be division and discord I’d rather we come together and talk about what re the real issues here and what can we do to move forward in a positive way,” said Perrone.

Western Mass News reached out to members of the school committee, those that got back to us did not comment on the matter and chairperson Cynthia Kwiecinski said she cannot comment on an executive session.

Meantime, Perrone said he will continue his duties as the West Springfield interim superintendent until May 1 and will return to his post as assistant superintendent.

A protest is planned and set to take place on Monday night against the committee’s decision in front of the town’s municipal building on Payson Street.