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Massena Central beginning third search for superintendent

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MASSENA — The Massena Central School board has decided to restart its search for a new superintendent to replace interim Superintendent William W. Crist.

Board Vice President Ronald A. Faucher said at Thursday night’s board meeting that it would be looking for another interim superintendent until it can find a permanent one. Mr. Crist’s final day in the district is Feb. 28, as he gets set to begin work March 10 as superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Syracuse.

During their most recent search, board members had narrowed an original field of 25 applicants to two finalists: Lisa L. Grenville and David J. Glover. Ms. Grenville is the K-12 supervisor of special education for the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Potsdam. Mr. Glover is superintendent of the Morristown Central School District.

The board worked with BOCES Superintendent Thomas R. Burns on the search, and the finalists were presented to representative stakeholder groups in January. Those groups included students, teachers, administrators, support staff and a public forum.

Input from those stakeholder groups led the board to decide to relaunch the search, Mr. Faucher said.

“As the BOE reconvened to discuss the input of the stakeholder groups as well as our own deliberation, we have agreed that the school district would benefit from continuing our search,” he said, reading from a statement he said had been prepared by Mr. Crist and board President John R. Boyce. “Therefore, we are planning to appoint an interim superintendent in the very near future while we continue our search to secure a superintendent of schools.”

He said the board needs to determine who will fill the interim position after Mr. Crist’s departure.

That person will serve “for the remainder of the school year or until we get a superintendent,” he said.

The next search may be operated differently. Mr. Faucher said that Mr. Burns has suggested the district may want to consider working with a professional recruiting firm. While board members have met with Mr. Burns to discuss that, he said, they haven’t decided whether that is the route they will take.

The original timeline had called for the board of education to select the new superintendent on Jan. 16, but winter weather and the holidays pushed that schedule back. Now it’s back to the drawing board.

Mr. Crist, who previously had served as superintendent of the Oswego City School District, took over as interim superintendent in August, replacing Roger B. Clough II, who resigned effective June 30.

A previous superintendent search to replace Mr. Clough had netted four applications, prompting the board to appoint Mr. Crist as interim superintendent and begin a new search at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

The superintendent’s position was filled on an acting basis by Stephen M. Putman between the time Mr. Clough left and the time Mr. Crist arrived in the district.

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