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Hectic times for the Skaneateles schools

It has been a hectic year for the Skaneateles Central School District.

Due to a wave of retirements in the past three years, the district currently needs to hire a long-term replacement for the superintendent of schools position, the middle school and high school principals and two of the secondary curriculum coordinators.

Interim Superintendent of Schools Judy Pastel was brought in for one year to assist the board of education with hiring a new superintendent of schools, and when they decided to extend the search for another year she agreed to extend her stay as well.

In addition to assisting with the superintendent search Pastel has done a good job in facilitating the board in making decisions about the district’s future.

Under her guidance the board has voted to switch to full-day kindergarten and just this week voted to move forward with a capital building project that will make the middle school and high school buildings safer and better equipped to serve the community for years to come.

Pastel is here to assist and advise the board in hiring a new superintendent, but is it appropriate that she do the same for those four vacant administrator positions? Having a newly-hired superintendent help select administrators that will fit his or her vision for the district could be a great opportunity.

The district has shown some signs that it might try and delay the hiring of replacements for some of these positions. They have already put out ads for candidates to apply for the humanities coordinator position, but Margie Culkoswki has agreed to stay on part-time as science, technology, engineering and math coordinator. High school principal Georgette Hoskins has extended her stay through the summer and outgoing humanities coordinator John Harmon will fill in as middle school principal for a few months after Timothy Chiavara retires in October.

Having these people extend their tenures will help create a sense of continuity for a short time, though sooner or later the board of education must face some big decisions about how and when they will hire these replacements.

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