Collaborative for Educational Services Executive Director Announces Plans for Reitrement

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Northampton, MA – Dr. Joan E. Schuman today announced plans to retire from her long-time role as Executive Director of the Collaborative for Educational Services (“The Collaborative”) at the end of this calendar year. Dr. Schuman has successfully led the Collaborative for twenty years.

Schuman commented “This has been a very difficult and bitter sweet decision. The Collaborative has been like my family for these twenty years. Over time, we’ve planted and nurtured many seeds that have developed the Collaborative into the phenomenal agency that it has become. We’ve attracted an extraordinary group of people who have expanded our mission to provide the highest quality education for underserved populations statewide.”

The Collaborative for Educational Services (formerly known as Hampshire Educational Collaborative) is a community of innovative and effective professionals dedicated to improving education. Since its founding in 1974, the educational services agency has worked to develop and foster educational excellence and opportunity for all learners through collaboration and leadership. The Collaborative serves learners, educators and communities in Franklin and Hampshire Counties, throughout the Commonwealth, and beyond.

Before joining the Collaborative, Dr. Schuman had extensive experience in educational organization and program development and leadership. She spent twenty years with the MA Department of Education and became the first woman appointed to a management position in the Department in 1975. During her tenure there, she worked as the Director of the Central MA Regional Education Center, where she was responsible for managing the delivery of services and funding to districts as well as leading the way in strengthening and reforming education. She also served as Director of the Bureau of Student Services, implementing programs with a wide-reaching impact on MA students.

Dr. Schuman’s commitment to the mission of the Collaborative and her work as an innovative educational leader were recognized in November of 2011, when she was awarded the prestigious Justus A. Prentice award in honor of her work at the helm of the Northampton based non-profit agency. The award is bestowed by the Association of Educational Service Agencies to an educational leader who exemplifies innovative leadership and advocacy on behalf of educational service agencies (ESAs) at the state and national level.

According to CES Board Chair, Lisa Minnick, Director Schuman?s leadership has been transformative. Minnick said, “Schuman has also expanded the awareness among state leaders about the critical role the state?s 26 ESAs can play in supporting the needs of students, educators and schools.?”

Innovative programs designed by Schuman and her staff include the creation of federal grant-funded services that support the social/emotional needs of young people, birth through young adulthood; partnerships with educators to develop collaborative school-based teams that analyze student and other school-based data to improve curriculum and instruction; the integration of arts into statewide schools for youth residing in juvenile justice settings of the state?s Department of Youth Services; and the development of an alternative licensing program for teachers focused on using an asset-based approach to working with all children and youth, particularly those at risk.

The Board of Governors of the Collaborative is currently seeking applications for the position. For more information, visit

About the Collaborative for Educational Services

Located in Northampton, MA since 1974, the Collaborative for Educational Services is a non-profit educational services agency, committed to reaching and educating all learners, and experienced in working with educators to help students learn and succeed. CES partners with and supports local school districts and schools to help them assess their instructional programs and create new ways to improve instruction, student learning and achievement. CES also brings quality interventions, professional development and mental health consultation to early childhood providers in Western Massachusetts communities.

Programs and services for learners/families include After School, Early Childhood, Special Education and Alternative Education Programs. Programs and services for educators include Early Childhood, Professional Development, and Licensure. CES is a provider for the Department of Youth Services Education Initiative (DYS) and Special Education in Institutional Settings (SEIS). Learn more about the Collaborative at

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