From Classroom to Corner Office: A Journey of Educational Excellence

Gerry Paist’s journey in the education sector is nothing short of remarkable. After earning his M.A.T. degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in 1962, he took on roles as a mathematics teacher in Wayland and Stoneham public schools. His thirst for knowledge led him back to Harvard, where he completed his Ed.D. in 1971. Before retiring in June 2021, Gerry served as the Superintendent of the Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School District in Palmer, Massachusetts since 1974. His tenure saw the District expand from 4 to 9 towns, increase program offerings from 10 to 15, and grow enrollment from 400 to 620. Previously, he spent six years in administration at Westfield State College.

A Lifetime of Service and Recognition

Gerry’s work ethic is epitomized by his 70-hour workweeks as a superintendent, yet he also managed to find time for cultural pursuits, being a season ticket holder for various arts and sports events in Springfield, Massachusetts. His professional affiliations have been extensive, involving leadership roles in the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Association for Career & Technical Education, and the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators. He served as Chairman of the PALS Committee, President of the CT Valley Round Table, and President of MAVA during the onset of Proposition 21/2.

Upon his retirement, Gerry received the David J. Cronin award, the highest honor in Massachusetts Career and Technical Education (CTE). Currently, he continues to contribute his vast experience and insights as a board member of the National Council for Leadership and Career and Technical Education (NCLA). Gerry is also a long-standing board member and past Chairman of the Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce in Palmer, Massachusetts.