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Board Members Draw Up List Of Traits Superintendent Should Have

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego City School District’s Board of Education gathered Monday night to discuss what traits they’d like in the next superintendent of schools.

The six board members (Sean Madden was absent) compared their wish list against the results of an online survey conducted by the district and the opinions of several focus groups.

Board members heard from William Silky who is conducting the search for the new superintendent of schools.

Earlier in the day, Silky meet with various committees (ranging from parents to students) that provided him with their thoughts of what a skills and traits a new superintendent should possess.

The committees expressed an interest in hiring someone “with knowledge of, an interest in and a history with the Oswego community,” Silky told the board.

There has been a call, by some, to hire someone local.

Silky pointed out that a few members of the committees expressed concern that would restrict the pool of possible candidates.

The board members said they’d like someone who’d be committed to the district, not moving on after three years or so.

More than 300 people responded to the district’s online survey.

That’s a pretty good number,” Silky said. “We also had a very good turnout today, with each committee.”

The superintendent will be the spokesman for the district, Board President Dave White noted, adding he has to be upfront and honest.

The board is also looking for someone who is a strong disciplinarian, a good communicator, trustworthy, and credible, among other attributes.

“He has to be strong,” added board member John Dunsmoor. “He can’t back down to community pressure when he’s faced with making a tough decision.”

Board member Jim Tschudy said he is looking for a superintendent that can agree to disagree.

“If he disagrees with someone, he should have the ability to continue to have a good relationship with that person,” he explained. He should be someone who is willing to continue to learn.”

Being able to relate well with all groups, including the students was something that was brought up by the committees, Silky said.

He asked the board members to review their lists as well as the committees’ and the survey and give him their top three choices.

Silky will move as quickly as possible on the search, he told the board.

He will meet with the board next week for another update on his progress.

The district has been without a superintendent since this summer when David Fischer left to take a job in Massachusetts.

Bill Crist, assistant superintendent for personnel, has been acting superintendent as the district continues its search.