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BOCES superintendent candidates to meet with state education commissioner

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WATERTOWN — Two final candidates for the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services superintendent will meet with state Education Commissioner John B. King next week.

Sackets Harbor Central School Superintendent Frederick E. Hall Jr., Adams Center, will meet with the commissioner Tuesday, and St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Assistant Superintendent Stephen J. Todd, Hannawa Falls, will meet with him Thursday.

St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Superintendent Thomas R. Burns, who has been facilitating the search, said the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES board will hold a special meeting Wednesday to review stakeholder input collected during daylong interviews with the candidates April 7 and 8.

The stakeholder groups, consisting of staff, administrators and area educators, met with the candidates and interviewed them about various aspects of the BOCES system. Members of the community also were invited to participate.

Mr. Burns said from those interviews, each member of the discussion was asked to fill out a response for the BOCES board. The board will review those and then await Mr. King’s input before it announces the new superintendent.

Because the superintendent position is both a state and a regional position, Mr. King must send written approval that one or both candidates are capable of handling the state portion of the job, Mr. Burns said.

He said that he doesn’t anticipate either candidate being rejected by Mr. King but that BOCES must await approval before it announces its decision.

Mr. Burns said the board could announce its decision as early as the next BOCES board meeting May 7.

“As long as we have the written order we can make a decision,” he said. “If we don’t have it by May 7, we might have to schedule a special meeting sometime later in the month.”

The men are the final two of 15 candidates from across the state who applied for the position.

Throughout the process, Mr. Burns said, it has been a very close race and both candidates are highly qualified. “It’s been really competitive from the start,” he said. “I think this is going to be a horse-race finish.”

Jefferson-Lewis BOCES Superintendent Jack J. Boak will retire July 3 after working for BOCES for 31 years.

The BOCES superintendent is required to assist school districts with the implementation of state education law and complete special assignments within the supervisory district.

As chief executive officer, the superintendent plans, administers and supervises areawide instructional and support services for the 18 component public school districts. In addition, the superintendent assists the component districts in the recruitment of school superintendents.

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