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Will NYM School keep a full-time superintendent?

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With New York Mills Superintendent Todd Cameron's upcoming retirement, the school board recently held a workshop to discuss future administration models.

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All current board members, along with the four incoming members, had a brief discussion before dismissing five of the eight possible models.

While no decisions were made, most board members leaned toward keeping a full-time superintendent, full-time high school principal and full-time elementary principal - the current structure.

The other two models still under consideration include: two full-time principals and a part-time superintendent; or two full-time principals and a contracted superintendent through a service co-op.

Though the school has almost always had three full-time administrators, from Sept. 2009 to June 2012 the administration model changed to a combined superintendent and elementary principal, a full-time high school principal, and a full-time dean of students.

During those years, Cameron was splitting his duties, acting as superintendent half the time, and as principal the other half. His position returned to a full-time superintendent just this year.

Members on the current board agreed that the former model didn't work as well as hoped, because a dean of students doesn't have the license to build curriculum or conduct teacher evaluations.

The current model, however, is more expensive than the other options.

Board member Tim Kupfer said, "The ideal situation is for all full-time administration," but because of budget constraints and declining enrollment, "it's not feasible for our district."

Board member Rachel Grieger said the budget would pay for the current model for at least one more year, and, depending on enrollment numbers, future years, too.

However, Grieger said, "A lot of schools in our area will be looking more seriously for part time superintendents."

Board member Josie Hendrickx said NY Mills should, "keep the model, but change the definition" of what the board expects of school leaders.

"We don't want to settle for mediocrity," Grieger said.

In a discussion planned for next month, the current and upcoming board members will define specific duties of the superintendent, as well as a united vision for the school. The board will also take a closer look at the costs of each model.

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