NORFOLK - The new superintendent for the Norwood-Norfolk Central School District will only have to travel down Route 56 to his new job.
James M. Cruikshank, currently the principal at A.A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam, was unanimously appointed by the Norwood-Norfolk Central School Board of Education to a three-year term Tuesday night. His term is effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016 at a base salary of $118,000.
Mr. Cruikshank will replace Elizabeth A. Kirnie, who will be retiring at the end of the school year.
Norwood-Norfolk presented a wonderful opportunity for me in that they have an excellent education system, which I believe my leadership style will complement, Mr. Cruikshank said. Im looking forward to working to ensure the next generation of students are prepared to meet the demands of college and career.
Board President Jon D. Hazen said it was a tough decision to choose among the three candidates: Mr. Cruikshank, Stephan J. Vigliotti and James D. Donnelly Jr.
It was a three-way horse race. I guess we were hoping to have quality people, and we got them, Mr. Hazen said.
Mr. Cruikshank currently serves as principal at A.A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam, a position he has held since 2007. He was previously dean of students from 2006 to 2007, director of athletics from 2002 to 2003 and a math and science teacher from 1992 to 2007. All of the positions were with the Potsdam Central School District.
While Mr. Cruikshank said hes looking forward to his new job, he said leaving Potsdam will not be easy.
Potsdam has been my home away from home for over 20 years, he said. Its an excellent community, which has always supported education. Ill miss the people, and Ill take with me my experiences here to help me at Norwood-Norfolk.
Mr. Vigliotti, who has served as superintendent of schools at the General Brown Central School District in Dexter since 2002, was named last week as the new superintendent at St. Lawrence Central School, effective July 1. He replaces Stephen M. Putman, who will be retiring at the end of the school year. He was previously the junior and senior high principal at General Brown from 1999 to 2002.
Mr. Donnelly has previous superintendent experience in the Lake Placid Central School District. He currently serves at 7-12 principal and director of school improvement in the Granville Central School District, a position he has held since 2011. Before assuming his current position, Mr. Donnelly was superintendent of schools at the Lake Placid Central School District from 2008 to 2009 and 7-12 principal at Dolgeville Central School from 1993 to 2008.
Mr. Hazen said the board members had debated long and hard over their three candidates, which was knocked down to two after they learned that Mr. Vigliotti had accepted the position in Brasher Falls.
We knew were each going through the process. Mr. Vigliotti was a common candidate, he said.
Ultimately they settled on Mr. Cruikshank, a move that was unanimously approved by the board Tuesday night. Board members Stephanie Allen and Stephen Markum were absent from the meeting.
I think a lot of the decision (in naming a new superintendent) hinged on experience versus what we saw as potential. We decided to go with potential, Mr. Hazen said.
I think there are probably people who say, Well, hes a middle school principal. I think he was at Potsdam long enough that hes definitely been involved in a number of initiatives there on the district level. Hes more than just a middle school principal. Hes been dean of students, hes been athletic director, I know hes been involved in capital projects there, Mr. Hazen said.
He noted that Mr. Cruikshanks familiarity with the Norwood-Norfolk Central School District will also help as he moves into his new role in July.
Mr. Hazen said Mr. Cruikshank and Mrs. Kirnie have already spoken and will be meeting leading up to the transition. He also plans to be at the districts budget forum on March 27.
Reporter Benny Fairchild contributed to this report.