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Two top administrators exit Chatham School District

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By EMILIA TEASDALE

CHATHAM–Chatham School Superintendent Sal DeAngelo is retiring effective July 1. The board met in January to begin discussing the search for a new superintendent and at a meeting February 13 they officially accepted Dr. DeAngelo’s resignation.

The district is also currently searching for a new high school principal after they approved the retirement of current Principal John Thorsen, also effective at the end of this school year.

At a special meeting on January 30, Board of Education President Frederick Hutchinson said, “We will sorely miss both John and Sal.” He pointed out that the search for the new high school principal is a challenge and looking for both a superintendent and a high school principal at the same time is “nearly unprecedented.”

The board approved Mr. Thorsen’s retirement last year effective August 9. At a January 23 board meeting, Dr. DeAngelo told the board that the search for a new principal is currently being conducted with a recently completed survey from the community. The board hopes to have a new principal starting in June or July.

As for the superintendent position, according to a statement on the district’s website posted February 22, the board has “asked the consulting firm of Castallo and Silky from Syracuse to assist with the superintendent search process. Alan Pole is the individual from that firm who is working directly with the board.” The board met with Mr. Pole on February 15 to begin planning.

Dr. DeAngelo was hired by the board in 2017 after Superintendent Cheryl Nuciforo (2009 to 2017) retired. Dr. DeAngelo came to the district from the Bethlehem Central School District in Delmar where he was the chief technology officer.

The board released a survey after the announcement of Dr. DeAngelo’s retirement. As part of the search, the board invited residents to provide input “on the desired characteristics/qualities of this important member of our school and community.” The survey is open through March 31 and can be accessed at: https://forms.gle/njrMrCUsydurb5F29 or by going to the district website at www.chathamcentralschools.com

The board also said in their statement that an announcement of the superintendent’s position will be developed and mailed out across the state by the middle of March. “This will begin the process of soliciting applications for the superintendent’s position…If you have any individuals you believe should be considered for our superintendent’s position, please send their contact information to Alan Pole at polead@yahoo.com. The deadline for the receipt of all application materials is April 19,” the statement reads.

The board anticipates offering the position to a successful candidate by the end of June and making a formal appointment in July.

“We are expecting that the new superintendent will join us in Chatham on or about August 19, though this is dependent on our finalist’s availability,” the statement reads.

At the January 30 meeting, middle school teacher and President of the Chatham Teachers Association Mark Connelly commented on the importance of the board’s superintendent search. He said that the district has had “really good teachers” fleeing to other districts over the years and that there are several retirements coming up. “We are looking for leadership, we need leadership,” he said and asked the board “to do all due diligence in finding that person for us.”

Chatham Board of Education meetings are generally held twice per month, on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in the Chatham High School Library. They are also online. For more information go to www.chathamcentralschools.com

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