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LCSD starts super search

— The Liverpool Central School District has officially begun its effort to find a new superintendent. The district has formed nine stakeholder groups and held a community meeting to determine the qualifications the new super must possess, as well as the challenges he or she will face in the next three to five years.

The new superintendent will replace Dr. Richard N. Johns, who will retire July 31. Johns came to Liverpool in 2009.

About 10 students and five adults attended a community meeting hosted by Dr. Lucy Martin of Castallo and Silky Education Consultants on Wednesday, Feb. 27, the day after Martin met with members of the stakeholder groups. At both meetings, participants described what they felt the district’s strengths were — these included items like its teaching staff, its fine arts program, its full-day kindergarten program and its universal busing, among other things — as well as the challenges it faces, such as finances and budgetary concerns, a lack of communication between the administration and the staff, APPR and other state mandates and the community’s perception of the district. The groups also came up with lists of qualifications the new superintendent must possess in order to maintain the strengths and address the challenges.

Martin said community participation is key to a successful search, and the Liverpool community has willingly stepped up to the task.

“With the online survey [which closed Feb. 26], more than 500 people responded,” Martin said. “That’s unbelievable. That’s an amazing response.”

Martin said the stakeholder committees filled up quickly, another indicator that the community is eager to participate in the process.

“We asked for participation, but you figure not everyone will want to participate,” Martin said. “But everybody has come out. We’ve got more than 100 people on the committees. It’s a good cross-section of people, and they’re very interested, very involved.”

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