BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Superintendent Kevin MacDonald will once again say goodbye to the Royalton-Hartland School District.
MacDonald informed the Board of Education this week that he will resign the district’s top post at the end of the school year. On July 1, pending contract talks, MacDonald will become the next superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, that region’s Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Twenty-two school districts are serviced by Genesee Valley.
The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership Board is expected to appoint MacDonald at its next meeting on Wednesday.
“Our Board of Education is confident that Kevin MacDonald understands the relationship between BOCES and our component districts from both sides and is capable of leading us through the issues we face in our region,” said Board President Betty Lapp in a statement. “The search process was rigorous and the Board of Education truly values the input we received from our various stakeholder groups, including component superintendents, as well as staff and community members, who met with the candidates to help us make a final decision.”
MacDonald, who has been Roy-Hart’s superintendent since February 2009, said the move allows him to pursue a professional goal, while allowing him to keep his family in Niagara County.
”Leaving is the hardest part,” MacDonald said.
Board of Education members will be meeting Tuesday with Clark Godshall, Orleans/Niagara BOCES superintendent, at 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the search process for a new superintendent. The meeting will be held in the high school’s media center, 54 State St. in Middleport.
During MacDonald’s four-year tenure, Roy-Hart has dealt with difficult budgets each year. The $22 million budget Roy-Hart officials are working on right now for 2013-14, cut spending in the district to the level it was at in 2007-08, before MacDonald came on board.
The district also looked for ways to save money but without seriously comprising programming. One example was varsity football, a program that was going to be cut before community boosters came to the rescue. In 2011, Roy-Hart joined gridiron forces with Barker, saving the sport for both districts.
There was a positive on the field too. Barker/Roy-Hart went 7-0 and won the Genesee Region League title in their first season together.
Being able to handle challenging finances is experience MacDonald said he’ll need in his new job. He also has a background working at a BOCES, as he was the assistant superintendent at Orleans/Niagara BOCES for seven years before coming to Roy-Hart. Prior to working for Orleans/Niagara and Erie I BOCES, he was a principal in the Roy-Hart district from 1998 to 2001.
When asked what he’ll miss about Roy-Hart, MacDonald offered a one-word answer. It was the same answer he gave in 2009 as a superintendent candidate, when he was asked what was the district’s strength.
“People,” MacDonald said. “I think from the board to the faculty and staff, people in this community do what’s in the best interest of the kids.”
The Board of Education released a statement Friday thanking MacDonald “for all of his time and effort working on behalf of the faculty, staff and students of the Royalton Hartland Central School District.
”Mr. MacDonald has guided the district through some very difficult financial times while still providing a quality education to the children of our community,” the statement said. “We would like to wish him the best in his position as district superintendent.”Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.