Press-Republican

September 15, 2013

NCCS interim superintendent starts Monday

By FELICIA KRIEG
Press-Republican

---- — CHAMPLAIN — A. Paul Scott has stepped in as interim superintendent for Northeastern Clinton Central School at short notice.

He replaces Jerry Blair, who has had to leave due to “unforeseen personal circumstances,” according to a press release from the district.

Blair had planned to hold the interim position through June 30, 2014; now Scott will do so.

”I’ve always been very grateful for the opportunities that I have had and being in public education in New York state,” Scott said. “That’s something that when there’s been a need for and I’ve been asked if I would please consider serving a role, I’ve been grateful for continuing my engagement on a short-term basis.”

’REPLACEMENT ESSENTIAL’

”Because the school year just started, a replacement interim superintendent was needed promptly,” the release said.

”The Board of Education felt it was essential to select a replacement interim school district leader who could engage in collaborative fashion with the (School) Board, administrators and the staff to ensure a productive and successful school year.”

The School Board reviewed other candidates for the position before choosing Scott, who has 27 years of experience as a superintendent and school administrator. 

That includes a wide range of educational, financial, personnel and policy matters faced by rural school districts, the release said.

For many years, Scott was superintendent at Peru Central School and recently served in an interim position at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central as a new school leader was sought for that district.

Scott’s first day at NCCS is Monday.

”This is a dynamic school year on several fronts,” Scott said. “All public schools are moving ahead ... in this entirely new and very extensive system of student assessment and staff evaluation.”

Scott said he anticipates he and the School Board will work in the coming weeks and months to clarify district policies and practices so they can be revised where appropriate to reflect any changes in state education requirements and laws.

”I also anticipate the board will be looking during these weeks and few months ahead in various ways to engage the school community in identifying strengths to sustain, identifying areas for improvement in this and the years ahead and identifying with the school community important work that should be top priorities,” Scott said.

NEW HIRE TIMETABLE

Meanwhile, the board continues working BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Mark Davey on a timetable and process for finding a permanent, long-term superintendent of schools.

A brochure is being put together for prospective applicants, and the board expects to finalize a salary range for the post, along with a list of qualities the district seeks in its next superintendent, School Board President Donna Boumil said recently.

At a session set for Oct. 1, the board plans to review the brochure and application, discuss interview questions and how the community can contribute to choosing a candidate who will best suit the district.

NCCS will advertise the vacancy statewide in November.

The new permanent superintendent the board selects is scheduled to start work July 1, Scott said.

The opening was created when Peter Turner, superintendent for five years, accepted a post at Carthage Central School in spring 2012.

Scott will not be a candidate for the long-term position, he said.

He will be paid a $425 stipend for each full day of service and receive no pay for holidays, vacation days, sick days or any other days when he doesn’t work. 

TO MAINTAIN DIRECTION

Blair, in supporting a plan of furlough days for some staff in the 2013-14 school year, had committed during budget creation to taking off 40 days without pay.

Also a longtime school superintendent, he has held several interim posts in the region as districts sought new administrators.

”Interim superintendents across New York state generally are focused on maintaining the overall direction and momentum of a school district, keeping (its) strengths in place while the board recruits a new superintendent,” the release said.

“I’m pleased to be associated with Northeastern Clinton Central School District,” Scott said. “It has a good reputation in the this region. I certainly look forward to engaging with these students, the faculty and the Board of Education.”

Email Felicia Krieg:fkrieg@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg