Jul 22, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Three weeks after Cazenovia Schools Superintendent Robert Dubik announced his intention to retire at the end of the 203-14 school year, the Cazenovia Board of Education has started laying the groundwork for its search process to hire a successor.
The board created a new superintendent committee, comprised of the entire seven-member school board, and also began discussing whether to go through OCM BOCES or to hire a private consulting firm to spearhead the process.
“The board wanted to start this process now to know what preliminaries we have to put in place to start the search [and] have everything in place by January or February,” said BOE president Pat Vogl. “But no drop-dead timeframe has been established yet for the date the position will be filled.”
The new committee was created as an organizational body to discuss all the variables that go into hiring a new superintendent, such as choosing a selection process advisor, creating a hiring timeline, community outreach, information gathering and deciding what qualities and expectations district residents will have for the next superintendent.
The first major decision of the board is who, if anyone, to use or hire as a consultant on the search process.
Dubik told the board during its July 9 meeting that it had three options to consider: 1) Use the free services of the OCM BOCES system for a superintendent search; 2) Hire a private company to assist in the search, which would cost the district an estimated $10,000 to $12,000; or 3) Promote an administrator currently in the district up to the superintendent position and therefore eliminate the need for a search.
Vogl said the board is scheduled to meet with OCM BOCES District Superintendent Jody Manning and one private consulting firm during the board’s Aug. 12 work session to discuss the selection process. Each meeting will last one hour, one from 5 to 6 p.m. and one from 6 to 7 p.m., he said.
There is currently only one member of the Cazenovia BOE that has any experience with a superintendent search. Karin Marris, who has been on the board for more than 10 years, participated in the selection of Dubik to his current position in 2003.
Dubik said a “basic timeline” for hiring a new superintendent is about six months from start to finish, with job offers typically made in the spring.
“I’m hoping that because of the quality of our schools we will get candidates applying earlier rather than later,” he said.
Dubik said he will “step back” and not be directly involved in the selection process, but will be more of a resource for the school board. “I’m here if board has questions about anything,” he said.
Also at the meeting, the board:
—Received a petition containing approximately 150 signatures of district residents in protest of the district’s recent decision to cut paid positions for assistant coaches to the boys junior varsity and varsity lacrosse teams. Varsity Head Coach Jim Longo presented the petition to the board and summarized the arguments in the petition that assistant coaches are necessary for athletes’ safety, supervision and instruction.
He said it was “unrealistic” to expect one paid coach to supervise more than 20 athletes given the type of sport lacrosse is and the possibility of injuries that occur. Previously, the varsity team has had two paid coaches and one volunteer coach. “I’ve got to question this a little bit given what Cazenovia lacrosse has done for this town,” Longo said, referring to the Lakers two state championship titles in the past three years.
—Accepted a $20,500 donation from the Cazenovia Athletic Association for the purchase of two Daktronic scoreboards to replace the scoreboards at field 1 at Fenner Fields and at the Burton Street Elementary School athletic field. “What a wonderful gesture,” Vogl told Rick Race, co-president of the CAA, who presented the check, after the school board and audience members gave a loud applause to the donation.
—Was asked by a resident for an update on the status of the number of class sections anticipated for the incoming third grade class at Burton Street. In June, parents and teachers addressed their concerns to the board that an increase by at least five new students to third grade will increase class sizes, especially because the district had previously decided to eliminate one third grade section, thereby having four classes instead of five.
Dubik responded that he is waiting to hear about a possible resignation in the district, which, if it occurs, would free up already-budgeted funding to possibly retain the fifth third grade position. “I can’t give you an answer yet; I was wishing I could,” Dubik said.
—Heard from Bill Furlong, assistant superintendent for business and finance, that the district ended the 2012-13 school year with a $19,000 deficit (a 20 percent decrease) in its school lunch fund as a result of the new state and federal lunch standards. The higher cost of the healthier food and the elimination of the foods kids like to eat caused a huge drop in student participation.
This is the first time Cazenovia has ever had a deficit in its lunch program, he said. At the end of the 2011-12 school year, the district had a $20,000 surplus, which means a swing of nearly $40,000, Furlong said. Because of the program’s financial downturn, the district will most likely raise school lunch and breakfast costs for the 2013-14 school year, the exact numbers of which the board will be give at its August meeting, Furlong said.
—Approved new non-resident tuition rates and payment schedule for the district. The board unanimously agreed to increase the tuition for grades kindergarten through six to $3,200 (from $2,641) and for grades seven through 12 to $4,200 (from $3,149). The board also designated that full tuition payment must be received by the district on or before Sept. 1 or, if a student enters in mid-year, full payment must be received immediately upon enrollment and no later than the day prior to the student’s first day of attendance.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.