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Five remain in Schalmont superintendent search

— The Schalmont Board of Education reviewed 34 applications to replace Superintendent Valerie Kelsey and has selected five semifinalists for upcoming group interviews.

After initial interviews, the board selected 12 potential candidates for the replacement, but reduced the pool to the current five. All of the semifinalists are sitting superintendents or assistant superintendents in New York State. Three groups, consisting of 14 to 15 people, will interview the semifinalists on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and Thursday, Oct. 11.

"Selecting a new superintendent is one of the biggest decisions a school board can make, which is why we wanted to involve the community in the process," said Board of Education President Sandra Beloncik in a statement.

Each group consists of a representation of the school community, which includes parents, community members, business owners, senior citizens, students, faculty and staff. The groups will provide feedback to the school board on their interviews, which will be used to assist board members in selecting a new superintendent.

Community feedback was also gathered over the summer on qualities residents are seeking for the next superintendent, along with the most important issues in the district. Input was gathered through an online survey and two community meetings.

"The feedback we received was used to draft the questions that were posed in the initial candidate interviews," Beloncik said in a statement. "Information regarding the district's priorities and expectations will also be shared with the successful candidate."

The school board is scheduled to appoint the new superintendent at its Tuesday, Nov. 13, meeting, with Kelsey's successor starting his or her duties on Jan. 1.

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