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GUILDERLAND: District names new leader

After weeks of interviews, the Guilderland Central School District has appointed a new superintendent, John McGuire, to replace Greg Aidala, who will be retiring in November after seven years with the district.

McGuire served three years as superintendent in the Greenwich School District and was assistant superintendent in the Bethlehem Central School District before that. With more than 30 years of experience in the field of education, McGuire said he is ready for Guilderland, but realizes success at the district will be a collaborative effort.

I'm very excited about moving to the district and learning from the people involved, McGuire said. "I will be meeting and talking with groups, asking questions and listening to see what areas we can build and improve on."

McGuire, who began his career in special education working for the state Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, said he has always favored a collaborative approach with all parts of the educational body working toward a common goal.

"At Greenwich, we were successful in establishing a professional learning community that always focused on student learning and achievement by being able to forge excellent working relations with our bargaining units, the Civil Service Employees Union, and the Teachers Association Units," he said.

Aidala, Guilderland's superintendent for seven years, is retiring after a 35-year career as a teacher and superintendent. He said he feels that McGuire is an excellent match for Guilderland, and that his goal is to make sure he's well informed about the key issues the district will be addressing in the upcoming year. While past initiatives focused on communication, that has shifted to technology and a new program called Foreign Language Early Start (FLESS), which starts teaching Spanish as early as kindergarten.

Aidala said McGuire's team-oriented approach is similar to his and plays a big role in making Guilderland one of the high-performing school districts in the area.

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