Chilmark Community Center looks for new leadership

The Chilmark Community Center is looking for a new executive director. — MV Times

The Chilmark Community Center is preparing to launch its programming for the summer, but it’s also searching for a new executive director to lead the helm after Keira Lapsley left the organization. 

Chilmark town affairs council, the organization that runs a summer camp at the center, hired Lapsley last April to lead the summer programs. 

“We had a very good executive director last year,” select board member Warren Doty said during a Tuesday select board meeting. “It’s a shame there’s a turnover in that spot.” 

Council president Suellen Lazarus agreed, saying, “We were very disappointed that she decided not to come back.” 

Lazarus said this seemed to have stemmed from a decision to hire a youth tennis director in addition to the regular tennis director. According to Lazarus, this was a point of concern for the tennis community, some of whom “expressed their views strongly,” and made it difficult for Lapsley. Lazarus did not specify the details of these interactions during the meeting. 

“After a number of discussions, she made the decision not to return,” Lazarus said. “I can’t say it’s cause and effect, but I can say she felt that there was a lot to take on, and maybe it was just not a perfect fit.” 

Progress has been made in the search for an executive director, according to Lazarus. The center is also close to confirming a new youth tennis director. Doty commented it had never been easy to coordinate the tennis program. 

Meanwhile, among the planned events the board unanimously approved were the annual Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival and the annual Chilmark Road Race, both of which will be held in August. 

The board also unanimously approved allowing the use of one classroom and one bathroom in Chilmark School for the center’s summer preschool program. Board chair Bill Rossi made a point that there will be limitations for the program’s usage of the building, particularly because contractors may be working on the building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. This project still needs to be decided on by voters during the annual town meeting later this month.