The Cooperstown Central School District is nearing the end of its search for a new junior / senior high school principal, following a process that began when ousted first-year principal Karl O’Leary was escorted from the building on the afternoon of Friday, March 18, 2022.
In an e-mail to The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta, District Superintendent Sarah Spross said she updated the district’s Board of Education at its June 8 meeting, with the schools now looking to make an appointment at the Board’s July 1 or July 6 meeting.
Ms. Spross said the district advertised locally, statewide, and nationally, hearing from a total of 13 candidates. From that pool, five were chosen for an initial interview and one from that group declined. The school hopes to have interviews completed by June 24, with secondary vetting completed by June 29.
As had been done in the past, candidates have been interviewed by members of the faculty association, service unit association, parent-teacher association, administration, and Board of Education. Leadership from each organization selects members to conduct the interviews; Board of Education members volunteer to participate.
According to Ms. Spross’s e-mail, the process this time increases the number of panel members, and includes three panels instead of two. Candidates first meet with the faculty, service unit, and parent-teacher associations; the second panel comprises administration and Board of Education members. Those first two panels make recommendations for second interviews to be conducted by a third panel, comprising the district superintendent, business official, and Board of Education members.
At the conclusion of the interviews, a final candidate will be selected and a full reference check completed. The top candidate then will be offered the position.
Cooperstown Central School has come under fire from parents for its rapid turnover at the principal’s office in the past decade.