Schalmont seeks say on super search

Residents can share opinions at meetings and online survey

— Schalmont school officials are looking to community members to help select the next district leader.

The Schalmont Board of Education on Thursday, June 28, held its second superintendent search community meeting to gather input from students, parents, staff and district residents. The meeting, held in the middle school LGI, saw about a dozen people weighing in on the district’s strengths and challenges, along with what they would look for in a new district leader.

Superintendent Valerie Kelsey on announced her decision to retire on June 11, with her retirement effective Dec. 31.

Schalmont Board of Education President Sandra Beloncik and Sam Shevat, a retired district superintendent assisting BOCES with the search process, lead the discussion pointing out the district’s priorities and expectations.

Beloncik said it was “invaluable” to receive as much input as possible on the search process. She said school officials want a collaborative effort to select the next superintendent, and mentioned there were some similarities between Thursday’s meeting and one the previous day to help craft goals.

“They were each different, but almost everything was identical,” she said. “It was so enlightening to have a lot of the community members, with some of them having a dual role as a community member and employee, but I think that is great.”

The district also has an online survey for residents to fill out if they were unable to attend a meeting and would like to share their input. A link to the survey can be found on the district’s website or by directly visiting www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCSDsupersearch. The survey will be open through Aug. 15.

Beloncik said the district was hoping to have a larger turnout for the meetings, but it still gathered a lot of useful information.

“Both sessions expressed wanting to have an experienced person, because they want to really continue on everything that we have going,” she said. “It really has to be someone that understands the APPR system (a new teacher evaluation system) that is going to be really vital.”

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