Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 16, 2013

Newfane superintendent search to continue

BY JOE OLENICK joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Before they begin their search for a superintendent, the Newfane Board of Education needs to select a search consultant. But there’s a critical decision for members to make before they go that far.

Do they want a new superintendent or should they keep sharing one with Wilson?

That question was raised to board members by William Silky of the Syracuse-based educational consulting firm of Castallo & Silky on Tuesday. Currently, Newfane is narrowing down choices for a superintendent search consultant while an interim superintendent is in place.

The interim district leader is Michael Wendt, who is also the superintendent of the Wilson Central School District. He’s been in the dual role since July.

Silky was in to present his firm’s bid, but was asked by Board President James Reineke about evaluating the shared agreement and keeping Wendt permanently.

Silky said his firm would be open to that, but evaluating how the agreement is working would be a different process than searching for a superintendent.

So the decision whether to retain Wendt would have to be made before the board hires a consultant, he said.

Reineke said the board is interested in at least looking at the advantages and disadvantages of sharing Wendt with Wilson.

Back on Oct. 1, the board voted to extend its shared services agreement with the Wilson district indefinitely. The Wilson board is expected to vote on the same deal next week.

Also at that meeting, Newfane board members gave their approval for sending out a Request For Proposals for superintendent search services. The first to respond to the RFP was Castallo & Silky, followed by three other firms.

The board is planning on meeting with the other firms and no timetable is set, Reineke said.

Reineke said at the Oct. 1 meeting that while not every board member agrees whether to use a consultant or Orleans Niagara BOCES Superintendent Clark Godshall – whose services would not cost the district anything other than incidental expenses – the board would at least like to see what options are out there.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.