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Recorder: “Superintendent Karin Patenaude outlines goals for Greenfield School Department”

Jul 10, 2024

Home 9 News 9 Recorder: “Superintendent Karin Patenaude outlines goals for Greenfield School Department”


Staff Writer

GREENFIELD — After roughly 14 years spent in Greenfield’s public schools working her way up from her initial role as an English teacher to her latest position as the district’s assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, Karin Patenaude took the helm as superintendent on Monday.

At a meet-and-greet event Saturday morning at the Greenfield Public Library, Patenaude stopped to chat with students, parents and educators. She said of the concerns she heard from the community, improved communication between parents and the school district was the topic most often raised.

“The overall theme this morning was just building a stronger community and bridging the gap between parents, community members and the school itself — really communicating all of the wonderful things that [the Greenfield School Department] is doing so that they know what to be involved in,” Patenaude said. “It’s really letting the community and parent groups know, in a better communication format, what’s going on, what we need to improve upon, and also having folks be part of those solutions.

“I think there’s a disconnect where they think they want to be involved, but don’t know how to get involved,” she added. “We could all work together and really promote some positive change.”

Patenaude began working in Greenfield as a high school English teacher in 2010 after spending 10 years in the same role in Palmer. After three years as a Greenfield High School teacher, Patenaude went on to work as an associate principal at Greenfield Middle School, and later the high school, becoming Greenfield High School principal in 2016. She became assistant superintendent of teaching and learning in 2021.

“I love this community. I live in this community, I’m a part of this community and I’m just really happy to be leading the schools and seeing what we can do to make a better future for our kids,” Patenaude said on Saturday.

Discussing her goals for the district as superintendent, Patenaude said she hopes to expand workforce development and career planning opportunities for Greenfield students. She said she aims to create partnerships with Greenfield Community College in an effort to introduce students to potentially successful career options, including those that do not include a four-year college degree.

“There are plenty of students who may want to engage in some of the high-flying careers in Greenfield. We have huge advanced manufacturing and medical fields,” Patenaude said. “There’s a lot of positive job opportunities for them here, but they may not want to go the four-year college track, so it’s really trying to connect kids with some of the workforce development programs that GCC has to offer so that they can then go into a career where they can still have a sustainable living wage and be successful.”

Patenaude stepped into her role following former Superintendent Christine DeBarge’s retirement, which was announced at a School Committee meeting last August. Former Granby Superintendent Stephen Sullivan, who the district hired in March, will move into the assistant superintendent position before the school year begins this fall.

“I’ve made the decision with my family to take a step back and be able to spend more time with them,” DeBarge told the School Committee last summer.

The School Committee wished DeBarge well at her last meeting on June 12, thanking her for her years of service to the district. After presenting DeBarge with a bouquet of flowers, Patenaude expressed gratitude for DeBarge’s positive impact on the school district.

“I’m honored to have been a part of the progress and improvements in the Greenfield school system that have happened under your leadership,” Patenaude said to DeBarge. “Thank you for all of your hard work. You leave us better off than when you arrived, and I’m truly grateful to have worked beside you.”

Anthony Cammalleri can be reached at

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