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Skaneateles school board discuses restarting superintendent search earlier than planned

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.

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