By Eli Ruiz
LIBERTY The Liberty Central School District is set to lose one of Sullivan County’s best regarded school superintendents.
Michael B. Vanyo is all but certain to accept an offer from the Gloversville Enlarged School District to serve in the same position he’s held at Liberty for the last five years.
The Gloversville Leader-Herald reported in a June 19 datelined story that the city school district had, earlier that day, announced that Vanyo will be named the new superintendent of the Gloversville District.
Vanyo was the second Sullivan County educator to be offered the job by Gloversville. Monticello Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Newman was also considered, but negotiations subsequently fell apart due to a residency issue stemming from a requirement by the board that Newman live in the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services district.
Vanyo confirmed in an interview with the Democrat on Wednesday that residency in the BOCES district will not be a requirement.
The Leader-Herald article said the board’s decision to appoint Vanyo was unanimous.
In Wednesday’s interview, Vanyo called the article “a bit premature.”
“I think that the newspaper got just a little bit ahead of themselves.… I’ll tell you, they’ve offered me the position but we’re still trying to negotiate the contract. That’s why I haven’t made any public announcement yet… now I’ve got everybody asking me,” explained Vanyo.
The Gloversville District website also contains a short article, dated June 19, that states, among other things: “During an executive session on June 18, the board chose Michael B. Vanyo of Saratoga Springs as the new Superintendent . . . “
“My intent is to accept the position if we can come to terms on the contract. I’m also waiting to see if the Gloversville board is going to approve it [the contract],” said Vanyo.
Vanyo came to Liberty in 2006 as an assistant superintendent for Business, taking the reigns from outgoing Superintendent Larry Clark a year later.
Asked if he was moving on for a better compensation package, Vanyo cited his family as the main reason for making the move, saying, “No, I’m actually going to be going the opposite way. I’m going to take a pay cut and benefit cuts. My son lives there, that’s why.”
In his time at Liberty, Vanyo has overseen some big changes in the district.
“We’ve done a lot of things. We’ve worked on curriculum and what seemed like small changes just seemed to turn into a lot of changes,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of support and a great board and the community has just been wonderful. We did a $36,000,000 project, we did a $1,000,000 project when I first got here, we did two $5,000,000 capital reserves. In this economy it’s just that this community is very supportive of education and we’ve seen improvements in most all areas, including graduation rates. We’re on the right track.”
Vanyo also recently came to terms with the Liberty Faculty Association (LFA) on a new contract ending more than three years of discord between the union and the district and hopes to have a deal with the LAMA (which represents full and part-time monitors and aides, and all teaching assistants) very soon.
“We have a meeting with the teachers aides tomorrow [June 21] and I’m hoping we can at least make some real progress with them,” he said. “They’re into their fourth year [without a new contract] so I really want to get them all settled.”
Asked what he would miss most about Liberty if the contract negotiations with the Gloversville district go as planned, Vanyo said, “I think the people. I not only have many colleagues here, I think I’ve made many great friends as well . . . and the kids, the kids from this district are just wonderful.”