October 23, 2013

SCSD launches second super search


---- — DANNEMORA — Saranac Central School has launched its second search for a successor to District Superintendent Kenneth Cringle.

The school began its initial effort in December 2012 but terminated it in March this year due to a lack of candidates, prompting Cringle to postpone his retirement plans for a year, until June 30, 2014.

“My goal is to work with you to really have a deep pool and be able to have good candidates ... that really could essentially fit your needs,” Champlain Valley Educational Services Superintendent Dr. Mark Davey told the Saranac School Board at Tuesday’s meeting.

Davey, who recently replaced retired CVES leader Craig King, will serve as the consultant for the new search; King was SCSD’s consultant for the last effort.


The board agreed to kick off the process earlier this time around, with advertisements for the vacancy scheduled to begin running in several publications throughout the state next month. The position will also be advertised in some online publications with a national reach.

The board-approved timeline calls for first-round interviews of candidates to take place in mid March, followed by second- and third-round interviews at the end of that month.

The intent is for Cringle’s replacement to be chosen in the beginning of April and take over as superintendent on July 1.

“I think this is more aggressive than last year,” Saranac School Board President Tracy Allen-Waite said of the timeline at the meeting. “I think this meets our needs.”


In hopes of attracting more candidates than before, the board decided to up the advertised salary range for the position from between $125,000 and $160,000 to between $130,000 and $165,000.

Cringle noted at the meeting that Northeastern Clinton Central School is also searching for a new superintendent, which may be helpful to SCSD’s quest.

“That will create more of an interest in this area, so I’m optimistic that those that apply for Northeastern will also apply to Saranac,” he said.

The board has opted not to survey district residents about the characteristics they wish to see in a superintendent this time around, as only 54 people participated in last year’s survey despite the promotion it was given.

The results of that survey, however, have been retained.


Saranac Central will appoint a stakeholder committee, comprising students, parents, community members, administrators, district office staff and instructional and non-instructional staff, to take part in the search.

Members of the previous search committee will be re-invited to participate, but the district will advertise for new members if needed.

In addition, the board has agreed on a new design for a promotional brochure, which will be sent to prospective superintendent candidates throughout the state.

It utilizes colorful pictures of the campus, students and community, as well as presents information about what both the district and region have to offer.

Board members agreed the new pamphlet is more eye-catching than the previous one.


Davey also suggested putting a link with promotional information on the district’s website,, and possibly even creating an online video showcasing what Saranac Central has to offer.

“When someone wants to learn about a school district, the first place they go really is the website,” he said.

While the school’s last quest for a new superintendent was unsuccessful, it came at a cost of about $10,000, according to Davey; however, most of that will be reimbursed by the state.

“Last year, I don’t think we got bang for our buck,” board member Michael Rascoe said at the meeting.

“I’m far more excited about what I’m seeing here than I was at the first meeting last year,” added Board Vice-President Robert Brooks.

Email Ashleigh