Jun 17, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
With Cazenovia’s 2013-14 school year just days from ending, a new district director of special education and a new high school principal have been selected for the 2014-15 school year.
Terry Ward and Eric Knuth were unanimously appointed by the Cazenovia Board of Education during its June 16 regular monthly meeting. Both men were introduced at the meeting by incoming Cazenovia District Superintendent Matt Reilly, who took the lead on hiring the two positions as part of his transition into creating his own administrative team once he takes charge of the district on July 1.
“We’re really moving in a great direction here,” Reilly said. “We’re building a great team. I’m excited. I can’t wait for July 1.”
Reilly was appointed in February to be the next Cazenovia superintendent. He will succeed current Superintendent Bob Dubik, who retires June 30.
Barely one month after his appointment, Reilly began the process to replace Joanne Dunkle, director of special education for more than 10 years, and Eric Schnabl, Cazenovia High School principal since 2005. Dunkle announced her intention to retire at the end of the 2013-14 school year, while Schnabl resigned in order to accept the position of superintendent with Sherburne-Earlville Central Schools.
“These are two of the most important jobs in the district, and I want to make sure we get it right by putting in place people whose leadership styles mesh with my own and are a good match for the district,” Reilly said in April.
The district advertised the open positions and had various district stakeholder groups (staff, students, administrators and community members) participate in the vetting process to help narrow the field of candidates. Reilly interviewed the top candidates and made the final selections.
For director of special education, Reilly selected Terry Ward, whose education experience includes work as a special education teacher, general education teacher, assistant principal, elementary school principal, visiting assistant professor and district data coordinator. For the past five years, Ward has been working closely with Cazenovia Central Schools as their part-time district data coordinator leading Cazenovia’s district data team and serving as a member of the building level data teams.
The director of special education is “a critical leadership position in the district, and I wanted to make sure I got it right,” Reilly said when introducing Ward at the board meeting.
In addition to his work in Cazenovia, Ward is considered an expert in Response to Intervention (RTI). He has worked with a variety of school districts in the region to lead the implementation of RTI and supports its continued success. Ward has been a strong advocate for RTI services locally, in New York state and nationally.
Ward received his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland, his master’s degree in special education at Syracuse University and his certificate of advanced study from SUNY Oswego. He currently is pursuing his education doctorate in executive leadership at St. John Fisher College.
Ward currently lives in Cicero with his wife and three children.
“Thank you for the opportunity to work in this great community every day,” Ward said. “I just can’t wait to start in July.”
For the new principal of Cazenovia High School, Reilly selected Eric Knuth, who currently serves as head principal of Oriskany Jr. Sr. High School in Oriskany, N.Y.
“I interviewed people to see who was the best fit, and with Eric Knuth I think that fit is right,” Reilly said. “I’m excited to have him on board.”
Knuth began his teaching career in Rhode Island in 2003. After spending a year teaching middle and high school English, he entered the private sector joining Software Quality Associates in Providence , R.I., as a resource manager. There he was responsible for human resource management, recruiting, business development and corporate training.
In 2007, Knuth returned to Central New York, the home area of his wife, and joined Prudential Financial as a financial advisor. In September 2008, he returned to the education field as a middle and high school English teacher at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, where he served in that capacity for five years. In 2013, Knuth became the head principal role at Oriskany Jr. Sr. High School.
Knuth holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Siena College, a master’s degree in education from the College of Saint Rose and a certificate of advanced study in educational leadership from SUNY Cortland.
He currently lives in Fayetteville with his wife and four children.
“I’m blown away by this community … I will do anything I can to support the students of Cazenovia,” Knuth said.
All three of the Cazenovia district’s new administrators officially begin their tenures on July 1.
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.