Three finalists in the running for Lake Placid superintendent
LAKE PLACID — Three people have been chosen as finalists in the search for Lake Placid’s new school superintendent.
The new superintendent, who will be chosen and appointed by the school’s Board of Education, will replace Roger Catania, who is retiring at the end of this school year. Catania has been Lake Placid Central School District’s superintendent since 2013, though he worked at the high school as a counselor for several years before that, starting in 1997.
The three candidates who are being considered as his replacement are Timothy Seymour, the current superintendent of the St. Regis Falls Central School District; Saranac Laker Dana Wood, former principal of the Lake Placid Middle-High School and current assistant superintendent for business, finance and support services at LPCSD; and Margaret Wright, a Canandaigua resident who has served in various administrative roles in school districts throughout the Finger Lakes region.
Seymour, of Malone, has been the superintendent of the St. Regis Falls school district since 2019. Before that, he was the principal and program director of Northern Borders Academy and P-TECH. He has some administrative experience, and he worked as a social studies teacher in Chateaugay for nine years, according to a news release from BOCES. He received a master’s degree in teaching social studies from SUNY Potsdam and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Catholic University of America.
Wood has been LPCSD’s assistant superintendent since 2018. He’s involved with the district’s financial planning, and he offers the school board updates on the district’s budget throughout the year. Before he took the assistant superintendent position, he was the principal of Lake Placid Middle-High School for five years and before that was a social studies teacher in the Saranac Lake Central School District for 18 years. He was also the dean of students at SLCSD. Wood has a master’s degree in administration and leadership and a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and history from SUNY Plattsburgh. He also has an associate degree in liberal arts from North Country Community College.
Wright was previously a principal and director of pupil personnel service at Honeoye Elementary School District in Ontario County, in western New York. She left that position at the start of the school year, and she’s currently teaching special education in the Manchester-Shortsville Central School District. In the past, she has served as the assistant principal at the North Street Elementary School District in Geneva. She had an administrative internship at the Canandaigua Central School District and has experience as an elementary school teacher and a special education teacher, according to a news release from BOCES. Wright has a Doctor of Education degree in K-12 educational leadership from the University of Rochester, a master’s degree in education from SUNY New Paltz and a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Keuka College in Yates County, western New York.
The candidate picks were announced by Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES and LPCSD on Monday. Administrators from the local BOCES district are helping LPCSD with its superintendent search.
All three candidates for the job will go through a second round of interviews, and the school board expects to decide who to appoint on June 1. There will be no public meeting sessions with the candidates, as sometimes happens when school districts hire superintendents.
Catania submitted a letter announcing his retirement to the Lake Placid Board of Education in February. His retirement at the end of the school year will mark the end to a 37-year career in public education, which included a stint as a professor at Alfred University, and other teaching and counselor jobs at Gilchrist High School and the J.B. Thomas Junior High School in Oregon.
The search for his replacement started not long after Catania’s retirement was accepted by the board of education. In March, Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES Superintendent Dale Breault Jr. gathered input from “the school board, school district stakeholders, and the Lake Placid area community about what they were hoping for in a new superintendent,” according to a news release from BOCES. Those interested in the job were able to submit applications through April 14, and the first round of interviews were conducted virtually last week.
“We were fortunate to have 30 people apply for the position, and six candidates were selected for a first-round interview,” school board President Rick Preston said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to meeting with and getting to know each of the final candidates on May 12.
“Our school district is looking for someone who communicates and builds relationships well, so these next steps will be important in making our final decision,” he said.