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Few applications for Saranac Lake school superintendent, so far

December 13, 2012
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - Just one person has applied so far to be the next superintendent of the Saranac Lake Central School District, but there's still a month left before the application deadline.

Franklin-Essex-Hamilton Board of Cooperative Educational Services Superintendent Steven Shafer, who's assisting the Saranac Lake school board in its superintendent search, delivered an update on the process at the board's Wednesday evening meeting. The district is looking for a new superintendent to replace Gerald Goldman, who will retire in at the end of the current school year.

Shafer said there have been 11 inquiries from people interested in the position, but only one completed application has been submitted. The deadline to apply is Jan. 11.

"We've got some time left," Shafer said. "Eleven at this point is OK. I wish we had a few more inquiries, but I would say that's a reasonable number to have at this point in time."

Shafer said BOCES has done "quite a bit" of advertising for the position, both online and in various print publications. From past experience, he said, most applications come in near the end of the process.

Board Vice President Clyde Baker told the Enterprise after the meeting that he wasn't worried.

"Not at all," he said. "Steve said that's normal, and the last week or so is when you get most of them."

After the application deadline, Shafer plans to meet with the board to go through the applications, review initial reference checks and discuss whom the board would like to grant first interviews. The board agreed to meet with Shafer in executive session on Jan. 24.

Shafer passed out sample interview questions to the board. He then met with board members in executive session to further discuss the superintendent search.

Later, during the meeting's public comment period, Vermontville resident and North Country Community College professor Shir Filler encouraged the school board to involve the public in the search process sooner rather than later. She also said she hopes the board picks candidates "with an open mind toward approaching things differently.

"I think our current financial model is not sustainable, as we go through these budget processes every year that are really painful. I don't see it getting better," Filler said. "If we can think about alternate ways of delivering education that might still bring us good assessment results but might not use as much person power so they wouldn't be as expensive. As you're bringing these people, do they have an open mind to thinking about different ways of delivering education?"

Baker said the board plans to discuss including local residents on its interview committee at its Jan. 2 meeting.


Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or



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