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Flynn to serve as next Massena Central interim superintendent

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MASSENA - As one interim superintendent wraps up his work in the Massena Central School District today, another will be taking over the reins on Monday.

During a special session Thursday night, the district’s board of education appointed retired Ogdensburg City School District Superintendent William H. Flynn as interim superintendent, effective Monday. He replaces interim Massena Superintendent William W. Crist, who begins work on March 10 as superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Syracuse.

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

Mr. Flynn will act as interim superintendent for “an indeterminate length of time dependent upon the search for a permanent superintendent of the Massena Central School District,” school board President John R. Boyce said.

“We haven’t even started our next search yet,” he said.

Mr. Flynn has not yet signed a contract, Mr. Boyce said, but will be paid a daily per diem rate of $500.

Two of the benefits of having Mr. Flynn on board are his previous superintendent experience and his familiarity with the district, according to the board president.

He retired as Ogdensburg schools superintendent on June 30, 2006, and also served as interim principal at Massena Central’s Nightengale Elementary School in 2013.

“By most measures everybody was happy with him,” Mr. Boyce said. “With Bill (as interim superintendent), it’s a benefit for both of us. It’s how long he wants to work for us or how long we need him.”

Mr. Flynn will serve until the district can bring on another permanent superintendent, something they’ve been without since Mr. Clough’s resignation in June.

A 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.

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

However, in the end, after considering feedback from stakeholder groups who had met with the two candidates in January, the board opted to begin another search.

They had worked with Thomas R. Burns, superintendent of the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, on their previous two searches.

“They’ve done plenty of searches before. They know what they’re doing and it’s free,” Mr. Boyce said.

This time, however, the board will be looking for a professional recruiting firm to help them find their next superintendent. Mr. Boyce said that some of the concerns they heard during the last search was that one of the candidates was a BOCES employee.

“Part of that thought is, if we go with an outside professional search consultant, it’s going to cost us money. But it’s going to further shore up the point of view that we’re trying to keep everything on the up and up as much as humanly possible,” he said.

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