Board of Education plans to search for a new superintendent next year; hopes to keep current interim in place

The Board of Education is pleased with the direction that Interim Superintendent, Dr.Joseph Natale, has positioned the district in while serving as the chief administrative officer these last nine months.

For that reason, board members have decided to extend their search for a new superintendent into the 2019-2020 school year and open discussion with Dr. Natale about the opportunity for another year of district leadership at OESJ.

Former Superintendent David Halloran left OESJ in June 2018 and became superintendent of the Gloversville Enlarged School District. Natale began as the interim superintendent at that time.

“We are currently discussing his continuation and hopes he will stay another year,” said Board of Education President Neil Clark said of Dr. Natale. “The big reason we wanted to wait was because other schools in the area, like Canajoharie, Amsterdam and Mayfield, are searching for superintendents and we would like Dr. Natale to continue with some of the initiatives he has put forward.”

“Dr. Natale has done such a nice job for us; we think our best plan is to stick it out and stay with somebody who really knows what he’s doing and is very seasoned,” said Clark. He noted that, with an interim, the district only pays his salary with no benefits, a savings for the district.

He also noted that, with the capital project beginning, and with negotiations with the teachers and CSEA, it’s good to have an experienced hand at the helm.

Natale came to OESJ with more than 20 years as a superintendent. He served as superintendent of the Warwick Valley Central School District (Orange County) from 1988-2006. He has also served as interim superintendent at the Mayfield Central School District (Fulton County) in 2013-14 and at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School District (Albany County) in 2014-15.

During the past year, Natale has also begun initiatives to boost student test scores and address various curriculum areas such as English Language Arts, writing and special education.