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Mediation on the Fast Track

School Board Vice President Christine Iacobucci was not happy at Thursday night's meeting.  The board was considering whether or not to implement a "fast track" search for a new superintendent.  Reading from notes, Ms. Iacobucci likened interactions between board members to problems in the schools addressed by the CASS program, which deals with bullying and safety in the schools. Ms. Iacobucci said she is not comfortable "hiring a new person until the board situation is mediated by the Community Dispute Resolution Center" (CDRC). She also noted that because two seats are up for election next week it is possible there will be two new board members who, she said, should have a voice in the hiring process.


The board considered a "fast track" approach suggested by Roy Dexheimer of the CNY School Board Association. If implemented the board would accept qualified applicants brought to them by a consultant. This would skip the application process, going directly to the interview phase.

The advantages of this approach are that the public component of the interview process is maintained, while it may be possible to hire a qualified school superintendent by the beginning of the school year. Applications could still be accepted, and the board could decide that none of the candidates are a good match for the scool district. In that case a conventional search would be conducted.

Board member Bonita Lindberg stated that a "fast track" search and mediation are not mutually exclusive. The advantage to the "fast track" search is that a successful candidate would not have to choose between leaving their current position at mid-school-year and refusing the offer. She said she thought it would be possible to "do the work to work better together" while also conducting the search.

Most board members agreed with Ms. Lindberg's position, and various board members agreed to make inquiries about consultants who can bring qualified candidates to the table, as well as starting the mediation process with the CDRC.

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