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December 20, 2012

LPCS hires Roger Catania for next superintendent

LAKE PLACID — Working to rebuild the administrative team, Lake Placid Central School officials hired an incoming superintendent on Tuesday.

Dr. Roger Catania, a former High School guidance counselor here, will take the position on July 1, 2013.

He will fill the post currently held by Dr. Randy Richards, whose contract was not renewed by the School Board earlier this year.

Catania is well known to the school and local community.

A counselor here for more than 10 years, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in education in January.

School Board President Mary Dietrich said the position is an interim hire for one year.

The school has been through five superintendents and interim-superintendents in sequence through the past six years. 

The board was under pressure to fill the top position, while also in the process of looking for principals for both the Middle School and High School programs.

“Because of how this process had to unfold, we couldn’t really involve the community at this juncture,” Dietrich said in an interview.

“Because of that, neither Roger nor the board were comfortable with committing to a three-year contract without input from the community. The interim one-year contract gives everybody a chance to work together and see how this is working out. There was also an unease of hiring in a three-year contract, given the past hiring history. It also gives everyone a chance to establish a working relationship with Roger.”

TIME OF STRIFE

The board’s decision against renewing Richards’s contract followed months of strife that began in early 2011, after he made a comment to then Lake Placid Middle School Principal Katherine Mulderig during a personnel discussion, saying he needed someone “bitchier” to manage the “bitchy” teachers at the elementary school.

Richards did acknowledge he made the statement and apologized. 

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