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Flynn to serve as next Massena Central interim superintendent

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MASSENA — As one interim superintendent wraps up his work in the Massena Central School District today, another will be taking over the reins on Monday.

During a special session Thursday night, the Board of Education appointed William H. Flynn as interim superintendent, effective Monday, replacing William W. Crist, who will begin work March 10 as superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Syracuse.

Mr. Crist, who had previously served as the superintendent of the Oswego City School District, took over as interim superintendent in August, replacing Roger B. Clough II, who resigned effective June 30.

Mr. Flynn will act as interim superintendent for “an indeterminate length of time dependent upon the search for a permanent superintendent of the Massena Central School District,” school board President John R. Boyce said.

“We haven’t even started our next search yet,” he said.

Mr. Flynn has not yet signed a contract, Mr. Boyce said, but will be paid a per diem rate of $500.

Two of the benefits of having Mr. Flynn on board are his previous superintendent experience and his familiarity with the district, according to the board president.

He served as interim principal at Massena Central’s Nightengale Elementary School last year. “By most measures everybody was happy with him,” Mr. Boyce said.

Mr. Flynn, who retired as superintendent of Ogdensburg city schools in 2006, will serve until the Massena district hires a permanent superintendent.

A superintendent search to replace Mr. Clough had yielded four applications, prompting the board to appoint Mr. Crist as interim superintendent and begin a new search at the beginning of this school year. The superintendent’s position was filled on an acting basis by Stephen M. Putman between the time Mr. Clough left and the time Mr. Crist arrived in the district.

During their most recent search, board members had narrowed down an original field of 25 applicants to two finalists: Lisa L. Grenville and David J. Glover. Ms. Grenville is the K-12 supervisor of special education for the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Mr. Glover is superintendent of the Morristown Central School District.

After receiving feedback from groups that had met with the two candidates in January, the board opted to begin another search.

The board had worked with Thomas R. Burns, superintendent of the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, on its previous two searches.

“They’ve done plenty of searches before. They know what they’re doing, and it’s free,” Mr. Boyce said.

This time, however, the board will be looking for a professional recruiting firm to help find the next superintendent. Mr. Boyce said one of the concerns board members heard during the last search was that one of the candidates was a BOCES employee.

“Part of that thought is, if we go with an outside professional search consultant, it’s going to cost us money. But it’s going to further shore up the point of view that we’re trying to keep everything on the up and up as much as humanly possible,” he said.

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