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Steckly appointed permanent superintendent at Lowville Academy

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LOWVILLE — After a half-year trial period, Lowville Academy and Central School District Superintendent Cheryl R. Steckly is losing her interim tag.

“We believe Mrs. Steckly has proven herself to be an exceptional educational leader with the intellectual and instructional skills to lead our district forward in this time of great educational change,” Board of Education President Thomas M. Schneeberger said in a release announcing her permanent appointment.

Since being appointed interim superintendent last fall, Mrs. Steckly has provided an “absolutely seamless transition” from the leadership of Kenneth J. McAuliffe, who retired at the end of August after 11 years as superintendent, Mr. Schneeberger said.

“She is a person of utmost integrity, tireless work ethic and is respected by the entire staff and student body,” he said.

“I’m very honored to be appointed and pleased to be leading such an outstanding school district,” said Mrs. Steckly, who had been the elementary school principal since September 2007.

The superintendent said she has enjoyed a satisfying career at the district and was happy that school board members gave her the opportunity to first tackle the job on an interim basis, with the option of moving back to principal.

“I just wanted to be sure it was a good fit for me, as well as the board,” she said.

After Mr. McAuliffe announced plans to retire, the district in March 2012 received 29 applications for the post.

However, Mrs. Steckly did not apply, citing concerns about losing contact with students, the time commitment required for the job and lack of prior superintendent training.

School board members, after narrowing the field to two finalists, last June decided to extend the application deadline to see whether any other strong candidates would come forward.

After thinking more about the situation and talking with several people, Mrs. Steckly decided to see if board members would be interested in appointing her on a trial basis for the 2012-13 school year.

And they were.

“As a skilled communicator devoted to the school and community, we look forward to Mrs. Steckly’s presence here for many years,” Mr. Schneeberger said.

Mrs. Steckly was hired in 1984 as a teacher aide and was made a teacher the following year. She later taught for four years at East Linn Christian Academy in Lebanon, Oregon, before returning to Lowville Academy.

During the 2005-06 school year, Mrs. Steckly became the district’s students with disabilities program director as an intern and was appointed to that job permanently in July 2006, following completion of the education administration graduate program at SUNY Oswego. She served in that capacity until being named elementary principal.

Mrs. Steckly earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Va., and a master’s degree in education from SUNY Potsdam.

She and her husband, Edward F., a student advocate at LACS who is employed by Mountain View Prevention Services, live in the Croghan area.

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