By Jason Emerson
The Cazenovia Board of Education this week approved the appointment of two interim administrators in the district and the shift in responsibilities for a current administrator. These moves come in response to the resignations of Assistant Superintendent Terry Ward and Cazenovia High School Principal Eric Knuth, both of whom leave at the end of the year to become superintendents in other districts.
After officially accepting the resignations of Ward and Knuth during its Dec. 18 regular monthly meeting, the Board of Education unanimously approved the appointments of David Cecile as interim principal for Cazenovia High School and Peter Ciarelli as interim curriculum director and chair of the music department, and the change in responsibilities of current CHS Vice Principal Pat Ruddy to director of Pupil Personnel Services.
Cecile is a longtime administrator within the Syracuse city school district, and worked as a teacher, middle school principal and high school principal for 28 years. He was elected to the Syracuse school board in 2013, and still serves as a commissioner.
Ciarelli, appointed to be the district’s interim curriculum director, has held teaching and administrative positions in districts throughout New York state for nearly 40 years, including previously being chair of the Cazenovia High School Music Department. He most recently worked as director of educational technology in The Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Syracuse and as interim director of the Central New York Regional Information Center.
Ciarelli will help the district in the area of technology and the music department as well.
“These are both seasoned and credible administrators,” Reilly said.
Ciarelli’s position as interim music department chair is the result of the resignation of CHS band teacher and current department chair Kevin Johnson, which also was accepted by the school board on Dec. 18. Retired music teacher Kathy DiNardo is currently teaching Johnson’s classes while the district looks to hire a replacement.
Cecile and Ciarelli will both start their new positions on Jan. 2, after the departure of Knuth and Ward.
Ruddy’s new job as director of pupil personnel services will have him oversee the special education and counseling offices of the district, which Ward previously ran. “With Terry’s departure I felt we needed someone with a sole focus on this,” Reilly said.
The district is searching for permanent replacements for Ward and Knuth. “We want to be deliberate; we don’t want to rush. A full and thorough search will be conducted with input from all [stakeholder groups] in community,” Reilly has previously said.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.