Crankshaw gives first board report

New Greater Johnstown School District Superintendent William Crankshaw speaks online while attending his first Board of Education meeting Thursday night. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — New Greater Johnstown School District Superintendent William Crankshaw gave his first report Thursday night online to the Board of Education.

Crankshaw was hired Aug. 27 by the board to the $162,000 per year position. He is a former city music teacher, principal, and now seasoned administrator since he left Johnstown. He replaced Interim Superintendent Karen Geelan, who retired from her position Sept. 30.

Board President Christopher Tallon stated he wished to “welcome back Dr. Crankshaw, again, as the new sitting superintendent.”

“Dr. Crankshaw has been a vital asset to our district in the past,” Tallon said. “We look forward to the working relationship going forward as a board. He’s already hit the ground running since he’s taken over and he’s done some great things in a short time here so far.”

Tallon said the appointment of Crankshaw represents a “second part” of the district achieving “some sort of stability” looking toward the future, the first being financial.

“We have now found a superintendent who will be here for several years to come,” Tallon said.

Prior to launching into his first board report, Crankshaw responded: “I’m really happy to be here, a little nervous here for the first meeting. I really appreciate those welcoming words. Thank you so much.”

In the report, Crankshaw discussed the Johnstown school district’s reopening plan dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he is in almost daily contact with the state Department of Health, as well as Hamilton Fulton Montgomery BOCES. He said he also participated in a webinar about COVID.

“Every day, we get a little closer to the truth that the Department of Health is trying to get across to us,” Crankshaw said.

He said the Johnstown district — like other districts — now has a liaison with the DOH. He offered “kudos” to Assistant Superintendent Ruthie Cook for her work as the district’s COVID coordinator.

“School personnel are doing a great job implementing school safety protocols,” Crankshaw said.

The new superintendent also discussed other topics in his report, addressing programming, attendance and other issues.

“I’m a product of Johnstown and all I want is for students to have those same opportunities that can bring you to great places,” Crankshaw said.

Crankshaw — a Gloversville resident and Johnstown High School graduate — received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Ithaca College in 1989, and a master’s in music education in 1995 from The College of Saint Rose. He earned his school administrative credentials at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 2006 and a doctorate in educational leadership from the Sage Graduate School in 2011.

He began his education career teaching music for a year in the Fort Plain Central School District. After that, he taught seventh to 12th grade music in Johnstown for 14 years, and was the music department’s co-chair. He started his administrative career as principal of Johnstown’s former Glebe Street Elementary School, where he stayed until 2009 before being named elementary principal, director of elementary curriculum and instruction and Committee on Special Education chairperson in the Northville Central School District.

Crankshaw served in Northville from 2009 to 2013.

In 2013, he was named superintendent of the Remsen Central School District. He had been superintendent in Cooperstown since 2016, before taking the Johnstown position.

By Patricia Older