STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
Milford Central School will be looking for a new superintendent after the school’s Board of Education and Superintendent Mark Place came to a “mutual agreement” to part ways, according to statements from Place and Milford BOE President Marion Mossman that were posted Thursday, June 10, on the school’s website.
“This evening, the Milford Central School Board of Education and I reached an amicable separation agreement which will be effective June 30th,” Place said in his letter. “Although many difficult conversations have been had, the decision to separate is mutual and done with the best interest of our students, staff and families in mind. Although my heart is heavy with the idea of leaving MCS, I know that this is the right decision for MCS to be able to move forward toward an even brighter future.
“I came to MCS five years ago holding the belief that small, rural schools, like the one I grew up in, are where relationships are truly at the center of the work, and I leave confirming that belief,” Place said. “My time spent at the front door each morning allowed me to greet each and every student by name, and I will greatly miss the hugs from our elementary students who have only shown me kindness and smiles for the past five years.
“When I began at Milford, the world was a different place than it is today,” he continued. “And yet, through a pandemic, global political upheaval and social media vitriol, we managed to do great work together to make sure that our students received the best education that we could afford to them,” Place said. “I will cherish my time at Milford, and for the friends I’ve made over the past five years, I look forward to keeping in touch.”
Mossman’s letter said Place was leaving to pursue other opportunities.
“The Board of Education would like to thank Mr. Place for his dedication to Milford Central School throughout the past five years,” she said in the letter. “Mr. Place has worked tirelessly to lead Milford through balanced budgets, a capital project, the COVID 19 pandemic and has continued to ensure that our school maintains a strong financial foundation. As we recover from the Covid 19 pandemic and submit our federal stimulus plan, our work must focus on serving our students, implementing the mission and vision for MCS that will serve our students both academically and emotionally, while also supporting our staff. We are Milford Strong!
“Moving forward, Milford Central School District Board of Education will be working directly with Dr. Catherine Huber, ONC BOCES district superintendent, to lead us in the search for a new superintendent. In the meantime, Dr. Huber will also serve as the interim superintendent effective July 1, 2021.”
Place said he was proud of what he and the Milford community accomplished together in five years, including: creating a community barbeque; providing free school supplies for all students — “the first and only district in the area to do so,” he said; supported field trips to Chicago, New York City, Boston and throughout the northeast “at no cost to our students, so that they could have experiences beyond Milford;” raised more than $5,000 for elementary students to be able to select free books from the book fair; applied for and were awarded several grants that have allowed the school to create the CROP Program, a videography class and additional mental health supports for students and families; created new electives for high school students, including in eco art, plants and animals, social justice, game strategy, wilderness living skills, food origins and the science of pop culture; undertook a capital project that included a new entrance to the school featuring the MCS shield; and kept the tax levy increase at or below 2.0% for each of the last five years and built up the school’s fund balance.