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We should all give thanks

EDITORIAL

It was announced this week that the Skaneateles School Board of Education will hold a public reception to honor outgoing Superintendent Phil D’Angelo on Tuesday, June 19, in the high school Commons area. D’Angelo has led our school district for nearly seven years and leaves at the end of this month to begin a new chapter in his career as the Superintendent of Schools for the Wantagh Union Free School District.

In his time at Skaneateles, D’Angelo has been not just an effective superintendent, but an extraordinary one. The district has not only maintained its tradition of excellence and high achievement under his leadership, but has gone further. The district as a whole and the high school individually have continued to be ranked as among the best in the state and country; our music program also has been ranked as among the best around; our students continue to be named at the top in academics, arts and athletics.

During the past few years, when state and federal budgets have tightened, local revenues have decreased and school aid has dropped, Skaneateles has maintained programs, reduced staff only through attrition and not layoffs and only minimally raised taxes. While D’Angelo did not do all this himself — and the assistance he has received from the entire district staff, the school board and the community has been amazing — he certainly deserves an immense share of the credit as the leader of the district.

In our experience, D’Angelo has always been quick and eager to praise the work of those around him and share the credit. He constantly visits all four schools in the district to see what the students and the teachers are doing and achieving. At school board meetings, his knowledge and management are truly impressive.

Not everyone has agreed with D’Angelo’s various decisions as superintendent, and his tenure has received its fair share of criticism, but that is to be expected. No leader can lead well without making difficult choices and upsetting one group or another. But imagine where Skaneateles schools would be if a less-gifted, less-dedicated or less-caring superintendent had been in his place.

Phil D’Angelo will be sorely missed in Skaneateles, and we are extremely sorry to see him go. We certainly wish him well in his new endeavor, and we strongly encourage the entire community to turn out on June 19 to thank him for his service to our children and send him off with warm wishes.

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