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Turnover rate has been high for school administrators

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Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 6:37 am

Allegany County schools are seeing turnover problems at their upper levels as half of the school districts replaced their superintendents this year.

Of the 12 Allegany County school districts, half have superintendents with less than six months at the helm. Of those, only two are permanent additions, with Fillmore Superintendent Ravo Root and Canaseraga Superintendent Kelly Houck each signing on at the beginning of the school year.

Four interim superintendents are leading districts, with elementary school principal Robert Mountain at Bolivar-Richburg; middle school principal Carlos Gildemeister at Cuba-Rushford; Michael O’Brien at Genesee Valley; and former Whitesville Superintendent Charles Cutler, who served through most of the 1990s and early 2000s, returning to an interim post at the district for a second time in the past decade.

Of the remaining superintendents, half began just two school years ago. Those superintendents are Alfred-Almond Superintendent Richard Calkins, Scio Superintendent Tracie Preston and Wellsville Superintendent Kimberly Mueller.

Only a quarter of the county’s school district superintendents have had their posts longer than two years. Andover Superintendent William Berg is the elder statesman of the group, starting in 2002. Friendship Superintendent Maureen Donahue started in 2005, while Belfast Superintendent Judy May took over in 2007.

* For complete stories, subscribe to the Olean Times Herald E-Edition. Please note that the e-Edition is separate from this partial listing. You have to log in under HOME and E-EDITION at the top of the web page. The e-Edition is in a PDF format. *

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  • Thomas NICKLER posted at 8:34 am on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Thomas P Posts: 9

    Comment on Olean Times Herald Article School Adminsitrator Turnover Rate

    The job of a small rural WNY school district Superintendent is extremely difficult in today's over regulated education world, especially in New York State. More regulations, less funding, dropping enrollments, and declining tax base makes it almost impossible to improve performance...but somehow these schools in Western NY continue on a successful path. For a Superintendent to survive as a leader for as long as 7+ years is a remarkable effort. Good Superintendents such as Ms. Donahue, Mr. Berg, and Judy May are extremely valuable resources. Longevity is one of the main ingredientsfor a successful school and longevity in the top leadership position is most important. Thank goodness for the old guard (sorry guys) such as O' Brien (is he still around), Cutler, and Mountain who are available to step in when a change takes place in the position of Superintendent. They hold things together and have the expertise to make things happen even as an interim. If the anyone in the public believesthe interim has a cushy job, just step in for 30 days and give it a shot. Finally, a large thank you to Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES District Superintendent, Robert Olczak who has spent countless hours with the BOCES schools districts and their boards conducting searches for a new Superintendent. Robert is an example of an outstanding leader and will soon be retiring. Best wishes to all.

  • D M posted at 2:24 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    David Smith 1 Posts: 0

    It is crazy that Allegany County has more than one central school district. Look at counties nationally (including those with outstanding school districts), and you will often find one central school system. The inefficiencies and resulting high property tax rate in Allegany County is simply poor educational management.