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Three administrators vying for upcoming Norwood-Norfolk superintendent vacancy


NORFOLK - Administrators from Potsdam, Dexter and Granville are the three finalists for the upcoming superintendent vacancy at Norwood-Norfolk Central School.

James M. Cruikshank, Stephen J. Vigliotti and James D. Donnelly Jr. have had initial interviews with the district’s board of education and will spend a full day in the district meeting with stakeholder groups before the board conducts a final interview in early March.

Mr. Cruikshank currently serves as principal at A.A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam, a position he has held since 2007.

He was previously dean of students from 2006 to 2007, director of athletics from 2002 to 2003 and a math and science teacher from 1992 to 2007. All of the positions were with the Potsdam Central School District.

Mr. Vigliotti has served as superintendent of schools at the General Brown Central School District in Dexter since 2002.

He was previously the junior and senior high principal at General Brown from 1999 to 2002.

Mr. Donnelly has previous superintendent experience in the Lake Placid Central School District. He currently serves at 7-12 principal and director of school improvement in the Granville Central School District, Granville, a position he has held since 2011.

Before assuming his current position, Mr. Donnelly was superintendent of schools at the Lake Placid Central School District from 2008 to 2009 and 7-12 principal at Dolgeville Central School from 1993 to 2008.

The Norwood-Norfolk Central School Board of Education is being assisted in their search by Thomas R. Burns, district superintendent of the Sole Supervisory District of St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties. They initially received 14 applications for the position currently held by Elizabeth A. Kirnie, who will be retiring at the end of the school year. That list was trimmed to four candidates who had first-round interviews with the board.

Board President Jon D. Hazen said their next step is to finalize dates for full-day interview sessions in mid-February, and they anticipate asking the three to return for a final interview in early March.

They expect to name a new superintendent no later than April 1, with the new superintendent beginning duties on July 1.

Mr. Burns is also assisting the Massena Central School District, where Superintendent Roger B. Clough II will be leaving when his contract expires in June.

He said they are currently working to finalize the recruitment brochure and the advertisements for the upcoming Massena vacancy.

“We’re very close to doing that, so the posting should be out pretty soon,” Mr. Burns said.

Mr. Clough has been with the Massena Central School District since 1995 and an administrator since 2002. He served as a teacher before stints as principal at Nightengale Elementary and J.W. Leary Junior High schools.

He took over for former Superintendent Douglas W. Huntley on an interim basis in August 2008 after Mr. Huntley accepted a position with the Queensbury Union Free School District. Mr. Clough was named permanent superintendent in June 2009.

He had notified the Massena Central School Board of Education in June that he did not wish to renew his contract, which expires on June 30, 2013. He intends to officially tender his resignation on or about June 1, 2013.

In Brasher Falls, three candidates are finalists for the superintendent position currently held by Stephen M. Putman, who also plans to retire at the end of the school year. Mr. Putman has served as district superintendent since 2005, taking over for then retiring Superintendent Alan Tessier.

Board of Education President James K. Lattimer said they initially had 10 candidates apply for the position, a list that they narrowed down to three individuals who were in the district Thursday evening for a community interview with administrators, teachers and community members.

Board members are expected to choose two finalists when they meet on Wednesday, and those individuals will spend a day in the district and go through another interview process. They plan to announce their selection of a new superintendent on March 6.

Mr. Burns said that, as he has worked with districts on superintendent searches, they’ve been shooting to get a dozen candidates.

“I’m hearing some other regions are getting a handful of people. For a lot of reasons, that’s not a situation you want to be in. The positive is we’re getting into at least double digits,” he said.

Still, today’s applicant numbers are nowhere near what they were years ago, when there may have been from 30 to 50 individuals applying for the superintendent vacancy.

“It’s a sign of the times,” Mr. Burns said.

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