It’s official: Vito Perrone inks deal to take over as Hampshire Regional superintendent

Vito Perrone has signed a contract with the Hampshire Regional School District and is set to take over as superintendent on July 1.

Vito Perrone has signed a contract with the Hampshire Regional School District and is set to take over as superintendent on July 1. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

By ALEXA LEWIS

Staff Writer

Published: 06-21-2024 1:27 PM

WESTHAMPTON — Vito Perrone has finalized a contract with the Hampshire Regional School District, and will begin his role as superintendent on July 1.

After interviews earlier this month, the All-Districts Committee voted to offer Perrone the permanent superintendent position pending successful contract negotiations. Now, after just a few weeks of negotiations, he has inked a deal to lead the Hampshire Regional, Chesterfield-Goshen Regional, Southampton, Westhampton, and Williamsburg school districts, who refer to themselves as the Hampshire Group.

Perrone ultimately won over the All-Districts Committee’s favor with his energy and familiarity with the district.

“When I looked at Vito Perrone, I liked that he lives close to the schools. We haven’t had that in a while,” said Don Willard, chair of the Chesterfield-Goshen School Committee after Perrone’s interview. “[He is] familiar with our school system and our community, and that’s super important to me.”

Perrone, a longtime Westhampton resident, emphasized during his interview that all of his children went through Hampshire Regional Schools with great success, and that he hopes to continue creating experiences like theirs.

“My children were prepared and ready for what’s next… [Hampshire Regional has] created an atmosphere and a culture where students persevere,” Perrone said. “I guarantee you this: Every decision I make will be made through the lens of what is best for the children.”

Perrone’s contract is set to end at the conclusion of the 2027 school year on June 30. At least 60 days prior to July 1, 2027, the Hampshire Group will meet with Perrone to negotiate a contract for the succeeding years.

As the superintendent, Perrone will be responsible for working with the Hampshire Group to set yearly goals and work toward them, including professional development efforts.

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The agreement includes a $175,000 salary for the first year with 3% increases over the subsequent two years, as well as 25 paid vacation days each year, 10 of which can be carried over from the previous year for a total of 35 vacation days, three personal days per year and 15 paid sick days per year which may accumulate to a maximum of 60 sick days per year.

Additionally, the Hampshire Group will evaluate Perrone’s performance annually. Should he receive a positive evaluation from each entity comprising the Hampshire Group, a $2,500 performance bonus will be awarded at the end of that fiscal year. After four years of employment, Perrone will also be eligible for longevity payments. After completing his fourth year of employment, he would receive a longevity payment of $4,000. After the fifth year, he will receive $5,000, and after the sixth year and beyond, he will receive $6,000.

The promise of longevity was one of the main reasons that Perrone was awarded the job, as the All-Districts Committee expressed that they had faith in his remaining in the position for many years during job offer negotiations. For his part, Perrone said that he has “six, seven years left as an educator,” and that he was “excited to think about ending [his] career” as superintendent for these school districts.

In addition, Perrone mentioned during interviews that he planned to take a proactive approach to filling other central office vacancies, potentially leveraging his local connections.

“What stood out to me was that Dr. Perrone seems to be a shining star where he is catching all of our attention, and I think that that’s one of the things that we really need,” said Tom Cleary, chair of the Hampshire Regional School Committee during job offer negotiations. “He can collect our attention and I think hopefully drive us forward with that shining star. He’s someone that is bigger than any one of us… I have a lot of hope and faith in his potential.”

Alexa Lewis can be reached at alewis@gazettenet.com or on Instagram and Twitter at @alexamlewis.