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Fri., Sep. 4
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Massena School Board reviewing stakeholder comments on superintendent candidates


MASSENA - The Massena Central School Board of Education began reviewing stakeholder comments on their superintendent candidates during a special meeting Thursday night.

“Tonight the board is seeing all of the stakeholder input for the first time,” Thomas R. Burns, superintendent of the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services, said Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Burns is assisting the district with the search to replace Interim Superintendent William W. Crist.

The finalists to replace Mr. Crist were narrowed down to Lisa L. Grenville and David Glover from a list of 25 applicants. Mr. Grenville is currently the K-12 supervisor of special education for the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES in Potsdam, and Mr. Glover is the superintendent of the Morristown Central School District.

Mr. Crist will be leaving to begin work on March 10 as superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Syracuse.

Ms. Grenville and Mr. Glover met with stakeholder groups last week, including students, teachers, administrators, support staff and a public forum. The board is using input from those groups as they prepare to make their decision on the next superintendent.

Mr. Burns said Massena’s board members were expected to go through the forms completed during those stakeholder meetings to “see trends or patterns that emerge. “Now is the hard part,” he said.

The original time line had called for the board of education to select their new superintendent on Jan. 16, but winter weather and the holidays pushed that schedule back. Board members are scheduled to meet again for their regular monthly session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

If they’re unable to make a decision by Thursday, the board can call a special meeting to make the appointment, according to Mr. Burns.

He suggested it would be difficult to find another interim to fill in if another superintendent is not in place by the time Mr. Crist departs.

“There are a limited number of interims, particularly in this geographic area because it’s a bit isolated from other parts of the state. The other problem we’ve seen in recent years is the advent of the APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review) requires superintendents and principals to have gone through hours and hours of intensive training and they have to be certified,” Mr. Burns said.

“The problem is there are a limited number of retired superintendents. Add to that the other issue, which is largely a training issue. It’s always possible, but at the same time a challenge to find those folks,” he said.

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