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Thu., Jul. 31
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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

School board president predicts replacement for Clough in May

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MASSENA - Although they haven’t yet advertised for the position, the president of the Massena Central School Board of Education says they’re hoping to have a replacement for Superintendent Roger B. Clough II on board in May.

John R. Boyce said that, although two other local districts - Norwood-Norfolk Central and St. Lawrence Central - are ahead of them in their superintendent searches, he believed they could have a replacement on board in Massena prior to the expiration of Mr. Clough’s contract in June.

Massena Central parent Robin Wolpin had questioned the board of education Thursday night about their search for a new superintendent. She noted that searches for new superintendents at Norwood-Norfolk Central and St. Lawrence Central had been covered in the media, but there had been no update on Massena’s search.

Norwood-Norfolk has narrowed their search down from 14 applicants to three finalists - James M. Cruikshank, principal at A.A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam; Stephen J. Vigliotti, who has served as superintendent of schools at the General Brown Central School District; and James D. Donnelly Jr., 7-12 principal and director of school improvement in the Granville Central School District.

One of those candidates will replace Elizabeth A. Kirnie, who will be retiring at the end of the school year.

St. Lawrence Central School was scheduled to whittle their candidates down from 10 candidates to two finalists this week, but have not yet announced those names. That person will replace Stephen M. Putman, who will also be retiring at the end of the school year.

In Massena’s case, Mr. Clough had notified the board of education in June that he did not wish to renew his contract, which expires on June 30, 2013. He intends to officially tender his resignation on or about June 1, 2013.

Mr. Clough has been with the Massena Central School District since 1995 and an administrator since 2002. He served as a teacher before stints as principal at Nightengale Elementary and J.W. Leary Junior High schools.

He took over for former Superintendent Douglas W. Huntley on an interim basis in August 2008 after Mr. Huntley accepted a position with the Queensbury Union Free School District. Mr. Clough was named permanent superintendent in June 2009.

“You’re right, they’re definitely ahead of us,” Mr. Boyce said of the searches at Norwood-Norfolk Central and St. Lawrence Central.

The Norwood-Norfolk Central School Board of Education is being assisted in their search by Thomas R. Burns, district superintendent of the Sole Supervisory District of St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties, while St. Lawrence Central’s board has conducted their search largely on their own with some assistance from Mr. Burns.

Massena is also working with Mr. Burns on their search, and he said last week that they were currently working to finalize the recruitment brochure and the advertisements for the position.

“Basically we’re all going to the same person to help us out. They (St. Lawrence Central and Norwood-Norfolk Central) were well down the path before we started. They are finishing up and now we’re picking up the pace,” Mr. Boyce said.

He said that, while they anticipated filling the position in May, they could have Mr. Burns assume superintendent duties on a temporary basis if they were unable to find a candidate before Mr. Clough’s departure.

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