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Alix Didrich | Democrat

DEBRA FOX MET with board members and the public at a recent Livingston Manor Central School Board of Education meeting.

LMCS new chief takes over

By Alix Didrich
LIVINGSTON MANOR — July 4, 2008 — Several members of the Livingston Manor Central School staff were on hand at last month’s meeting to welcome Debra Fox, the new superintendent of schools. She started her new job on July 2.
This will be Fox’s first job as a superintendent. Her previous experience included a stint as acting superintendent of schools for the Onteora Central School District during the 2005-2006 academic year. In addition she has served as the Charlotte Valley Central School building principal for four years and has experience teaching business and career development.
Fox began her career in education as an administrative assistant in 1980. “I didn’t follow the normal route. I chose a non-traditional career path and worked my way up from within,” said Fox.
She spent thirteen years attending college courses at night and is in the process of obtaining her doctorate from Sage Graduate School that she anticipates completing by 2010.
The board of education broke from tradition and hired Edward Mc Cormack, an outside consultant retired from the New York School Board Association, to assist them in their search for a new superintendent after deciding not to renew current superintendent Dr. Debra Lynker’s contract. BOCES usually does the hiring of superintendents, but recently several schools have chosen to do so on their own, including Monticello schools and Sullivan West.
Assisted by Mc Cormack, the school board set criteria that members say exceeds state requirements and points them down a road where they can develop the school’s potential.
According to school board member Sandra Owen-Kelly, the majority of the board felt that hiring a superintendent is the most important decision they make regarding the district. “He made us a cohesive unit that helped us make a cohesive decision,” she said regarding the board’s decision to use Mc Cormack as a consultant
Owen-Kelly said that the final decision was a hard one because they had a couple of strong candidates for the job. In the end they chose Fox because, according to Owen-Kelly, “All we heard was ‘collaborative, inquisitive, creative flair’ when we interviewed superiors, co-workers and other staff.”
Fox looks forward to the next three years as superintendent. “Because of my unique pathway I bring a lot of experience an knowledge with me. I have a lot of respect and understanding for each individual in the school district and their important role in making the school excellent,” she said.
She eagerly looks forward to beginning her first superintendent job after twenty-eight years in education.

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