BEEKMANTOWN -- Beekmantown Central School's next superintendent must possess strong people skills.

"That is critical in dealing with so many groups," said School Board President Stanley Kourofsky, "and in that I mean communication, the ability to relate to things and listen and observe and develop a strategy to bring everyone to the same place."

Beekmantown School officials would like to have a permanent superintendent in place by September, though they are close to announcing someone who will temporarily replace Dr. Mark Sposato, who resigned to take a position elsewhere.

Sposato has he can no longer effectively do his job because of the current makeup of the Beekmantown School Board. He and some other school officials have said that a few board members who are either related to district employees or retired school employees themselves are placing their own interests before those of students and the School District.

Kourofsky, a retired teacher whose spouse works for the School District, has denied that claim.

School officials are advertising statewide for a new superintendent and have enlisted the assistance of Craig King, superintendent of Champlain Valley Educational Services.

They are forming groups of teachers, administrators, support staff and community and board members to assist with the hiring process.

"We will also be involving students," Kourofsky said.

The salary range has been set at $120,000 to $150,000 annually.

"We would love to have somebody start during the first week of September when school starts," Kourofsky said. "But realistically that may not happen. A lot of superintendents have contractual obligations, so our interim may have to continue through at least September."

The School Board has someone in mind to be appointed interim superintendent, but Kourofsky said that individual's name will not be released until the board takes official action.

Beekmantown Central School's next superintendent should have strong problem-solving skills and be a people person who can work with a variety of diversified groups, he said.

"Schools are getting very complicated. There are a lot of things that go on, and it is important to have someone who can understand that and relate to it all."

The person must also be well versed in state and federal law, be able to work with unions and build a team that works toward the School District's best interests.

"Those are pretty strong goals, but you can't start below that," Kourofsky said. "You have to start high."

Most importantly, he said, the next superintendent must be able to communicate effectively with all School District employees and constituents.

"We are still young in the hiring process," Kourofsky said, "but we are moving along."

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