Jan 15, 2014 Joe Genco Uncategorized
At the suggestion of board member Geralyn Huba, the Skaneateles Board of Education might be starting its search for a new superintendent of schools earlier than planned.
At the board’s Jan. 7 work session, Huba read a prepared statement making the case that the district should re-initiate its search in February rather than next fall.
One of the reasons for the suggestion was to have the new superintendent be a part of tough budgetary decisions the district will have to make in coming years.
“It is important that the person who is going to be implementing the changes that are ultimately decided upon, be included in the planning process earlier rather than later,” Huba said.
“I would therefore like to propose that the board of education consider moving the date of beginning the search for the next superintendent up six months, to begin in February. Right after the new business manager is hired, while the strengths are fresh in our mind.”
The board discussed the idea and, at the suggestion of board member Margaret
Usdansky-Niebuhr, decided to conduct an analysis or “post-motrem” of the board’s previous search and interview process. Board President Kathryn Carlson said they would schedule this discussion for an executive session to be held at the board’s Jan. 21 meting.
Huba said she didn’t think it was necessary to put out a call for resumes yet, but to start to discuss and prepare for that step should be started soon.
Board member Evan Dreyfuss said that handling a capital project proposal and the budget this spring will keep the board very busy, but the summer would be a good time to start interviewing candidates.
Judy Pastel has been the district’s interim superintendent since 2012 replacing Phillip D’Angelo, who left the district at the end of the 2011-12 school year. Though the board had conducted interviews and narrowed the field down to three candidates, it ultimately decided to extend Pastel through June 2015 to help the district have stability at a time when there was a lot of turnover in the administration. Carlson had announced at a September board meeting that the search would resume in fall of 2013.
Curriculum coordinator Brian Cohen and middle school principal talked about options for adding Regents Earth Science as an option for eight graders without disrupting the period dedicated to optional music classes.
Harmon noted that the middle school currently teaches more specials than is required by the state. All eighth graders take one marking period each of general music and art, which could be eliminated or made elective, he said.
Room could be opened up in the schedule for eight graders if the school started teaching health in sixth and seventh grade rather than seventh and eight. The middle school also teaches an introduction to foreign languages class to seventh graders that is not required and gives a study hall every other day to sixth graders.
Harmon said they would keep exploring options and would meet with teachers from each department before making a recommendation to the board.
In response to a previous presentation, several community members had spoken at the board’s previous meeting about how the district shouldn’t make eight graders chose between an accelerated science tract and taking two performing music classes.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.