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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Clifton-Fine Central School interim superintendent knows district


STAR LAKE — The search for a superintendent at Clifton-Fine Central School is less urgent because of the appointment of Susan O. Shene as interim.

“Her appointment gives us the stability to move ahead and make good decisions,” board President Michelle L. Durham said. “There is a tremendous amount of optimism among the board.”

Mrs. Shene, who is on leave as the district’s principal, plans to apply for the superintendent’s job once the board makes a decision on how it wants to proceed.

“That’s my intent,” Mrs. Shene said. “I know the district. I know the people. I think it’s good for me, the community and the board.”

Mrs. Shene, who has been at Clifton-Fine for 26 years, said she welcomed the opportunity.

“Let’s move forward and put the negativity behind us,” she said.

Mrs. Shene was appointed in June to take the place temporarily of Denise L. Dzikowski, who left to become superintendent at Lyons Central School. Mrs. Dzikowski’s tenure was marked by internal strife on the board and formation of a community group concerned about the direction of the district.

Mrs. Durham said she appreciated Mrs. Shene’s dedication to the district and she is welcome to apply for the permanent position if she enjoys her time as interim.

The board has not made a decision yet on how it will conduct a search.

“At this point, we don’t anticipate the process starting in the next few months. We will look at all options,” Mrs. Durham said. “I can assure you community members will be involved.”

The district is advertising for a building principal as a one-year interim position with the possibility of a full-time appointment at the end of the year.

Mrs. Durham said the board also wants to look at possibilities for shared services with other districts.

“There could be the possibility of multiple things in the future,” she said.

Mrs. Shene, Fine, has taught fifth, sixth and seventh grades at Clifton-Fine. She is beginning her eighth year in administration.

The School Administrators Association of New York State selected her as the recipient of its 2011 K-12 Building Principal Award. She was part of the team that led to the district’s elementary school’s selection in 2010 for a national Blue Ribbon award.

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