Oswego School Chief Resigns

OSWEGO, NY – Citing a lengthy contract negotiation impasse with the school board, Oswego Schools Superintendent Bill Crist announced his resignation at tonight’s (Jan. 8) board of education meeting.

Crist, who graduated from Oswego High School and was a teacher in the district, said he would retire as of July 1, 2013.

He notified each board member via a letter, he said.

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Bill Crist

“Based on the board’s notice to not extend my contract agreement and inability to agree to contract terms,” Crist said he will pursue other opportunities and interests with his family.

He will retire at the end of the school year, he said.

“I’m asking the board of education to consider my letter of resignation, effective July 1, 2013, so that the successor process can begin as soon as possible in the best interest of the faculty, staff, parents, students and community,” he said.

He thoroughly enjoyed his time as superintendent in the community where he has lived and worked for the past 30 years, he added.

“I am proud, honored and humbled to have served in the positions of teacher, administrator and superintendent for the wonderful school district from which I graduated,” he said.

“The families and children living in our community are fortunate to have such committed and passionate professionals serving the varied needs of our students each and every day,” he continued.

He wishes the board success in identifying the individual who will continue the present achievements of the district while pursuing a path that will better align with the goals and interests of the community, he said Tuesday night.

“I am confident that our district will continue to make positive strides toward excellence and academic and student achievement during the monumental state-wide and national education reform,” he said. “I’m proud and supportive of the steps toward fiscal responsibility that have been put in place over the past several years.”

He personally thanked the individuals and institutions and businesses that have embraced the notion that “it truly requires an entire community to educate the children of this beautiful city.”

“I want to thank you for the opportunity to lead such a wonderful school district, in such a beautiful community. Go Bucs!” he said.

“I have a couple things set up, nothing that I can talk about right now. But I am looking,” Crist told Oswego County Today following the meeting.

It took a couple months to make the final decision, he said.

“It was a family decision,” he added.

“We just couldn’t come to an agreement on terms, that’s all,” board president John Dunsmoor said. “Bill said it well. We respect the job he’s done for us. We appreciate everything and our district is growing.”

The district is in a better place than it was four or five years ago, Dunsmoor noted.

If a new superintendent isn’t in place by the end of June, Crist has given “a verbal” that is they need his help after July 1, he would stay on, in an as needed basis, to help during the transition, Dunsmoor said.

Crist was named superintendent in December 2008.

A 1976 graduate of Oswego High School, Crist has been a school district employee for more than 30 years.

He was a music teacher in the district, served as instrumental team leader and director of the Marching Buccaneers Band.

He was also an assistant principal at Oswego Middle School before moving on to director of personnel and, prior to being named superintendent, he was assistant superintendent for personnel and human resources.

Crist had served as acting superintendent following the resignation of former superintendent David Fischer, who left Oswego for a job in Massachusetts.

“It’s very humbling for me to assume a position in the school district that I graduated from,” Crist said in 2008. “It’s a district that I have spent my professional career working in. It’s a daunting experience just knowing the responsibilities that I have before me.”

It’s something he’s aspired to, he admitted, adding, the task of the superintendent is not an easy one.

Crist said he looked forward to serving the district for many years and making it the best possible district it can be. He said he hoped to have a long career as superintendent, which would bring some consistency and stability to the district.