Apr 27, 2014 Joe Genco Uncategorized
After conducting an interview, the Skaneateles Board of Education decided to advance its candidate for the superintendent of schools position.
Board President Kathryn Carlson announced at the board’s April 22 meeting that the candidate is Kenneth Slentz, deputy commissioner in the Office of P-12 Education for the New York State Education Department.
The district’s search consultant, Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES Superintendent Bill Speck, recommended that the board interview Sletnz before conducting a more traditional search later this year, which it still plans to do if Slentz is not hired. The board discussed the opportunity and decided to go forward with the interview at its April 8 meeting.
In addition to four years of experience in the state department of education, Slentz has 15 years of experience both as a teacher and an administrator in local districts, according to a release from the district.
Slentz is a former superintendent for the West Canada Valley Central School District (located in Newport, N.Y.) and the Long Lake Central School District.
Board members had positive comments about their experience interviewing Slentz.
“After having taught for 30 years, never in my 30 years did I ever experience the depth of knowledge that this candidate has,” Board Member Sue Benjamin said.
Next, Slentz will be interviewed by stakeholder groups on April 28 and 29. The groups include teachers, administrators, parents and other community members. Everyone who answered the board’s previous call for volunteers will be able to participate in the process, Carlson said.
“We need input from all the stakeholders as to the fit. We have vetted qualifications, but the fit is very important,” Carlson said.
Board members discussed their thoughts on its recent communications audit report and recommendations. The audit was conducted by the Capital Region BOCES and evaluated the effectiveness of both internal and external communication done by the district.
Some of the recommendations made by the report include creating an annual, strategic communications plan, expanding and improving online communications, establishing a social media presence and engaging all stakeholders in the decision-making processes.
“I think this delves really deep and it gives a lot to work with,” Board Member Margaret Usdansky Niebuhr said.
Board Member Evan Dreyfuss said he agreed with the report’s recommendation to be proactive not reactive.
“The way education has been changing so quickly, we’ve been caught a little flat-footed. We knew some of this was coming, but it hit us very quickly. So how can we create a plan where we’re talking about what is coming the next two or three years, and we’re very open about it,” Dreyfuss said.
The full report, which is 105 pages long, has been made available to the public on the district’s website. The version of the report available to the public has had some text redacted to protect the privacy of school employees who were named in comments from the public an online survey.
There are also several copies paper available in the offices of all four schools and the Skaneateles Library, Interim Superintendent of Schools Judy Pastel said. Residents won’t be allowed to borrow the printed copies, but can review them in person.
–The board voted to cancel classes on Friday, May 23, thus making Memorial Day weekend four days long. The district had five allotted snow days for the school year and only used three, making the extra vacation day a possibility, Pastel said.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.