A new superintendent for Hamburg Central Schools could be selected by March, according to an aggressive timetable suggested by the district’s search consultant.
Vincent Coppola of the Western New York Educational Service Council said the timeline could start with the School Board meeting with him next week, but the exact time for the search is up to the board. If a superintendent is chosen March 3, having him or her start July 1 with the new school year would give the candidate time to move to the area.
“Let’s take the time to do this right,” he said.
Board members spent some time last week discussing whether to put off the search until after the budget process, which will start soon in advance of the vote in May.
“Are we all on board with the compressed timeline?” Board Member Thomas Flynn asked, noting the board has three new members who will be going through the budget process for the first time.
The district also is undergoing an audit by the state comptroller’s office, and turmoil in the district has been the subject of several community meetings.
“I’m just saying do we take a step back for now, don’t bring those pressures on us and let everything else work its way through,” Flynn said.
“This is our most important job, and it’s extremely important that we get this position right.“
Coppola said about 10 school districts in the state are searching for superintendents now, and he told the board there could be about 10 more by January. He said candidates interested in Hamburg probably will come from a district within a three- to four-hour drive. Generally, 60 percent of candidates come from outside the district, and 40 percent of superintendents are hired from within a district and move to the top spot, he said.
Some in the district, including Board President David Yoviene, have suggested interim Superintendent Richard Jetter is a viable candidate for the job. Jetter did not attend last week’s meeting because the search was being discussed, Yoviene said
Coppola, a former superintendent who has lived in the Hamburg district since 1966, said he has a vested interest in it and the search for a new leader.
“Because I’m a Hamburg resident, I will turn myself inside out, because I don’t have anywhere to go and hide,” he said. “I go to Wegmans, I go to Tops, and if the next superintendent that you bring in here doesn’t work out, I may never go out of my house again.”