Burnt Hills The average tenure of a school superintendent is three and a half years. Jim Schultz, superintendent of the Burnt Hills Ballston Lake School District has more than doubled that, holding his position for eight years.
The district is now in the final stages of searching for a new super intendent to replace Schultz when he retires at the end of this school year – at which point he’ll have had 41 years with the district.
Long runs as superintendent at BH-BL are not new. According to Christy Multer, public relations officer for the district, those who held the position prior to Schultz had runs of 10 years or more, and that history is one of the factors playing in to a decision on who will be the next one.
The search is being run by Capital Region BOCES and the district’s Board of education.
“We’re looking for someone to make a long-term commitment and not looking for them to use BH-BL as a stepping stone. It could be, but questions centered around the long-term goals,” said Dr. Charles Dedrick, superintendent of Capital Region BOCES.
The list of candidates has been narrowed down to three: Dr. Patrick Darfler-Sweeney, superintendent of the Hunter-Tannersville School District; John McDonald, Jr., superintendent of the Ticonderoga School District; and Patrick McGrath, assistant superintendent of the Mohonasen School District.
Schultz’s run may not have been as long as some of his predecessors, but his long history at the district means he’s been everywhere. He is Burnt Hills born, taught English and Latin and was assistant superintendent. There have only been five superintendents in BH-BL history, or since 1938.
“He is extremely well respected and (his retiring) will be a big loss for the region. We’re not looking for someone to fill his shoes, but to take the district into the future,” said Dedrick.