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Tupper school officials plan for interim principal in January

November 6, 2012
By JESSICA COLLIER - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

TUPPER LAKE - The Tupper Lake Central School District Board of Education decided Monday night to find an internal candidate to serve temporarily as principal of the middle/high school starting in January.

The board will also start a search for a permanent principal in January.

Seth McGowan, who is serving as both middle/high school principal and district superintendent now, advised the board at their Monday night meeting that would be the best way to go.

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Seth McGowan, superintendent and middle/high school principal, Tupper Lake Central School District
(Enterprise file photo)

McGowan went through the other options, including starting a new principal permanently in January and getting an external candidate for an interim principal.

He advised that an external candidate would cost more - between $53,500 and $67,500 for the half-year including salary and benefits, as compared to $22,500 for promoting someone already working in the district to the principal position, giving them a customary 10 percent raise and hiring someone to replace that person's former position. An external candidate, while providing new ideas, also wouldn't have the institutional knowledge to get started quickly in the middle of the year.

McGowan also noted that a full search for a permanent principal should take about five months, which there isn't time for now.

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If the board decides to do nothing until June, McGowan said there would be no difference in cost, "except for my ... whatever."

"Well-being?" suggested one administrator

"Well-being," McGowan said. "Right."

He advised that by the 2013-14 school year, the district should have a permanent principal in place so he can get back to his superintendent duties, which have slipped since he took over the principal position a little over a year ago.

"Basically, we revert back to the scenario that we've had in the past," McGowan said.

In the future, a new principal would likely cost the district about $107,000 to $125,000 including salary and benefits.

For the interim position, McGowan said it would have to be someone who is ready to go now, and there's a small pool of people with those qualifications in the district. It's not a position that would be posted or advertised, he said.

"It's something we would decide," McGowan said.

McGowan said he would discuss the options with the board in executive session.


Other positions

McGowan also mentioned three positions that were created last year. One, a student coordinator, previously existed. The district tried to live without it after that person retired and then added it back last year. McGowan recommended that position be retained.

A home-school-community coordinator position was created specifically to fill a void left when McGowan took on the principal job in addition to his superintendent duties. He said that job's duties would traditionally be performed by the middle/high school principal and suggested that it be eliminated.

McGowan recommended that the district keep in place a response to intervention coordinator, or RTI, position that was put in place last year. That person coordinates RTI work with high school students, tracking students who have problems and finding programs to target their issues. He said no other area school districts are doing that, and it's making Tupper Lake a "jewel in the Adirondacks."

"I think it would be a mistake to remove it," McGowan said.



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