JOHNSTOWN — Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Educational Cooperative Services Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel has announced he will retire next month after 33 years in public education.
The HFM BOCES Board of Education voted to accept Michel’s resignation during the annual reorganizational meeting Wednesday a press release stated. Michel’s last day at BOCES will be Aug. 10.
Michel served as HFM Boces superintendent for seven years, having been appointed to the position following the death of former superintendent Dr. Geoffrey Davis in 2011.
“My time at HFM has been one of the best professional experiences of my career, and I’ve met some of the best people I’ve ever known,” Michel said in a prepared statement.
Following his retirement Michel will enter the private sector working with K12 Inc., an education management organization based in Virginia providing online education and curricula.
“We will certainly miss Dr. Michel, but we are so grateful for all that he has done for the entire HFM region,” HFM BOCES Board of Education President Joanne Freeman said in a prepared statement. “We also look forward to seeing the impact we know he can make on the national level through his new role in the private sector.”
While superintendent, Michel advocated for overhauling the secondary education model, working with a consortium of area schools, local businesses, the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce and Fulton-Montgomery Community College to establish the region’s first Pathways in Technology Early College High School in 2014.
HFM PTECH features a project-based curriculum teaching students professional skills. Students can simultaneously earn a high school diploma and one of 10 different associate degrees through the program in four to six years at no cost to their families and be considered for jobs with partner companies upon graduation.
The program is targeted towards students who might not otherwise consider attending college and allows incoming freshman to choose from one of four pathways including business management and administration, advanced manufacturing, information and technology and health sciences.
The inaugural HFM PTECH class graduated in June, with 12 students earning both their high school diplomas and associate degrees in four years. Many other members of the first class are on track to complete the program to earn their college degrees at the end of the 2018-19 school year.
BOCES went on to launch the Agriculture PTECH in 2016 and three additional PTECH programs will be offered in HFM school districts beginning in September.
Michel helped establish the HFM BOCES Regional Transportation Service in 2012 which provides shared busing services to the Gloversville Enlarged School District and the Greater Johnstown School District and the solar farm in front of the Route 67 campus that became operational last summer and is expected to generate more than $800,000 for the institution over the next 20 years offsetting or exceeding future utility costs.
Before accepting a position with HFM BOCES, Michel served as superintendent of the Monticello Central School District, the associate superintendent of the Clarkstown Central School District and as a principal in the Hyde Park and Pine Bush school districts. Michel began his career teaching ninth and 12th grade social studies and earth science in the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District.
His own accomplishments aside, Michel expressed particular pride for the achievements of three BOCES administrators who earned statewide leadership awards this year; career and technical director Jay DeTraglia, HFM PTECH Principal Mike Dardaris and deputy superintendent Lorraine Hohenforst.
“I think these awards speak to the kind of environment we’ve created at HFM BOCES. It’s an environment that allows our administrators, teachers and staff to excel, and that benefits our component districts and all our students,” Michel said. “I’d like to thank the HFM BOCES Board of Education and everyone at BOCES and our component districts for their support throughout the years and for all their hard work supporting our students.”
In his role as superintendent, Michel serves as liaison between the state and component HFM BOCES school as chief operating officer at BOCES and a representative of the state Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.
Elia will appoint a sitting superintendent from another BOCES as interim district superintendent during the next several weeks as required by law to manage state governance responsibilities during the transition.
A survey regarding HFM BOCES must be administered according to state education law to collect input from all component school districts and bordering BOCES before the state can approve a search for a new district superintendent.
Michel said he expects the search for his replacement to begin in the next three to six months.