By Dan Hust
LAKE HUNTINGTON April 2, 2004 Students, employees and residents of the Sullivan West Central School District will soon get a chance to meet and talk with the three finalists for the districts superintendency.
BOCES Superintendent Martin Handler, who the SW board contracted with to oversee the superintendent search, said Wednesday that later this month, the three men will meet first with students, staff, teachers and administrators at all four campuses, followed by a general public meeting and a final interview with the board.
The hour-long public meetings one a night for each candidate are set for April 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium in Lake Huntington.
On the 19th, said Handler, Dr. Richard Nick Johns will be touring and talking with locals. Johns is the assistant superintendent of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District in Orange County, where he was formerly superintendent.
Johns has 19 years of experience as a superintendent in New York, Michigan and his native Iowa. He obtained a bachelors in sociology and history from the University of Iowa, followed by a masters in educational leadership from Northern Missouri State University and a doctorate in the same from the University of Northern Iowa.
On the 20th, said Handler, Alan Derry, the superintendent of the New Paltz Central School District in Ulster County, will be at Sullivan West.
Derry holds three masters degrees: one in secondary guidance from Columbia Universitys Teachers College, one in administration and supervision from the same institute, and one in counseling psychology from Manhattan College.
Derry has been a superintendent in New York State for eight years. He previously held administrative posts at educational institutions in Yokohama, Japan; Milan, Italy; and Athens, Greece.
On the 21st, said Handler, Sullivan West will be introduced to Louis McIntosh Jr., the superintendent of the Cattaraugas-Little Valley Central School District in Cattaraugas County.
McIntosh, who possesses a masters in educational administration from St. Bonaventure University and a masters in business education from SUNY Alfred, has also served as a business teacher and a K-12 building principal prior to his seven years as a superintendent.
In fact, McIntosh was the superintendent at different times for both the Cattaraugas and Little Valley school districts before they merged in 2000.
The three men were narrowed down from an original pool of 19 applicants, only five of whom the board chose to even interview.
The board, said Handler, was not interested in applicants who were not sitting superintendents, as evidenced by the salary advertisement: up to $150,000 a year.
Current Superintendent Michael Johndrow, who is leaving the district due to an unofficial board vote of no confidence in his abilities, earns just over $100,000 a year.
Although the board has the final say in who becomes the districts new superintendent, Handler said board members greatly desire public participation in the process.
The board is very serious about getting as much input . . . as they can before making a decision, he noted. The board is inviting and encouraging all the residents of the community to attend. . . . Wed love to see 100 people [or more] show up.
The meetings will mostly consist of question-and-answer sessions, and attendees will have a chance to fill out feedback forms about each candidate afterwards.
The forms will ask participants what they thought of the particular candidate and whether or not hell be a good fit for the district.
Handler anticipated that the board will discuss the issue in executive session at its April 22 meeting (7:30 p.m. at the high school library), but the board can deliberate for as long as it desires.
However . . . They would like to move the process along, added Handler.
These are very in-demand candidates.
Indeed, Handler expressed his own positive sentiments about the three men.
Its a high-quality pool of applicants, he remarked. Im very excited about this group.