Northville, Mayfield won’t share school head

MAYFIELD – Mayfield Central School Board of Education President Ernie Clapper announced Wednesday that his district and the Northville Central School District will not be able to share an interim superintendent in the immediate future, as was planned.

According to Clapper, Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES Superintendent Pat Michel decided not to permit the two districts to share a superintendent because of the recent turnover among both districts’ administrative personnel.

Earlier this year, Northville and Mayfield voters both approved a straw vote to look into merging the two districts. The plan was to share a superintendent until the final merger vote on Jan. 7.

“Our decision to share a superintendent was based on the fact that we had stable, knowledgeable building administrators in place in both districts,” Clapper said in a news release. “At this time … Michel has advised both boards that he will not approve of the two districts sharing a superintendent without the two districts hiring additional shared administrative support due to the changes in both districts.”

Over the course of the last year, several administrators have left the two districts. Northville Elementary School Principal William T. Crankshaw left his position to become the superintendent of the Remsen Central School District.

Also, Northville High School Principal Brian Bishop is seeking a position elsewhere, according to Northville Board of Education President Sheldon Ginter.

Robert Husain is expected to resign from his position as principal at Mayfield High School to pursue a position elsewhere.

Michel said with all the training needed to replace the administration lost at both schools, it would be too much work to bring in a shared superintendent.

“They are facing having to put in two new high school principals, an elementary principal and an assistant principal,” Michel said.

Clapper said if they hired a shared superintendent now, administrative support personnel would be needed. Michel said this would have been a strain.

“They’ve got a whole bunch of new administrators to train,” Michel said.

Now, each district is preparing to hire its own interim superintendent for the coming school year.

Ginter said while sharing a superintendent would have saved his district $50,000, the change was not a major setback.

“We saw it as an opportunity where there could be some savings,” Ginter said. “… This is not a show-stopper, this is just a little hiccup.”

According to Michel, Northville will appoint Debra Lynker, its current interim superintendent, to serve for another year.

Michel said Mayfield has a candidate, but final preparations are needed before it is announced.

Paul Williamsen, Mayfield’s superintendent, is retiring.

Nortvhille’s last permanent superintendent, Kathy Dougherty, retired in 2012.

Ginter said both districts are going to share a chairperson for a joint Committee on Special Education and they are planning on sharing other services.

Ginter said Northville is searching for interim principals to replace Crankshaw and Bishop.

Arthur Cleveland can be reached at [email protected].

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