Updated 03/25/2011 09:47 PM
Jordan-Elbridge superintendent search narrows to three
It's a school district that has become defined by its controversy, court action and mistrust, but as our Katie Gibas reports, the search for a new superintendent of the Jordan Elbridge School District could be the beginning of a brighter future for the district.
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- The search for a new leader kicked off what would become months of controversy in the Jordan-Elbridge School District, including court decisions that would find the board of education had illegally appointed an interim superintendent and violated open meetings laws on several occasions.
"This whole scenario has been very disruptive to the community. I can't believe that there's anyone is happy with the situation right now. I'm sure the board members are going through a lot of anguish just as the community members are," said Richard Platten, a member of the Community Committee for the Superintendent Search.
But community members have begun moving forward, ever since the board of education decided to hire BOCES to conduct the Superintendent search. BOCES in turn created three committees of school staff and students, district administrators and community members to review the top three candidates.
"It's always important to involve as many as you can. Obviously you can't have a hundred people, but I think they're going to see a pretty good cross section of the community," said Platten.
William Speck, the BOCES District Superintendent of Schools, added, "The nice thing was there was good alignment. What we heard from the board of education matched almost perfectly as far as alignment with the community group. They were looking for the same kinds of things."
The search started with 17 candidates and BOCES recommended seven. After hours of interviews, the board of education narrowed it down to three people: Deborah Grimshaw, the Onondaga Central assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and special education, the Cicero North Syracuse executive principal James Froio and Randall Squier, the superintendent of the Oxford Academy and Central School District.
"These people all have strengths and some of them are in different areas, but they all have the leadership skills necessary," said Speck.
While many people say this is the beginning of the district heading in the right direction, others are still skeptical, saying the entire process is tainted by the scandal that began it.
Board members will discuss the candidates in an executive session Monday and hope to make a decision by April 1st.