The Jordan-Elbridge school board tonight unanimously approved the contract of the district's next superintendent of schools. James Froio, who has been principal at Cicero-North Syracuse High School since 2004, was selected for the top job at J-E in April.
Froio attended tonight's school board meeting at the high school cafeteria, where he told a roomful of residents that when the news first broke at J-E, he turned to a close friend of his at C-NS High School and said, "When that superintendency opens up, I'm applying there."
Jordan-Elbridge High School principal David Zehner was put on paid suspension in September just days into the school year, which was followed by news that Superintendent Marilyn Dominick, scheduled to retire early in November, was being forced out by the school board.
Froio told residents that he knew they'd heard their share of rhetoric, and they might be "somewhat skeptical of words."
"July 1 is when the action starts, and I will by embarking on a series of listening sessions throughout this community, throughout all the schools, to hear what you have to say," Froio said. "And as we do that together, we will forge a pact designed to help us do what we're all here to do: create the best educational environment we can for our kids. I'm very confident that we'll be able to do that. The road is going to be difficult and hard, and there will be disagreements along the way, I have no doubt. But there is a silver lining to all of this, and you know what it is? It's your kids."
Froio said he recently spoke with some "extraordinary high school students at Jordan-Elbridge," and asked them if they were proud of their school.
"They said, absolutely. They said, 'We're proud to be Jordan-Elbridge Eagles,'" Froio said. "I thought what a remarkable statement for these young people to make because they realize that the actions that have occurred - that they have had no control over - should not be a reflection on them. And they know that. They are proud to be Jordan-Elbridge Eagles."