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Superintendent search for Smithtown schools

Superintendent Ed Ehmann will leave the district at the end of the year. File Photo
October 26, 2011 | 08:04 PM
Smithtown Board of Education has hired Western Suffolk BOCES to conduct a comprehensive search to replace outgoing superintendent Ed Ehmann.

Ehmann submitted his letter of resignation at the Sept. 27 Board of Education meeting. His contract ends June 30, 2012.

A Tuesday night's school board meeting, Michael Mensch, BOCES chief operating officer, and Paula Klingelhoefer, executive director, BOCES Instructional Support Services, presented their plan to find a replacement superintendent.

"Our role is to provide assistance to the board and provide quality candidates that they can review," Mensch said.

Klingelhoefer said the process will be a lengthy and detailed one. "It's a very comprehensive process. It involves a lot of work that we do as facilitators for the Board of Education. We begin by surveying the board for their input on their short-term/long-term priorities."

After the board members submit their survey results on Nov. 9, BOCES will post a community survey to get more input.

"In terms of the community survey they can input comments that they want the board to consider during the search. We would expect to have that survey up relatively soon," Klingelhoefer said.

BOCES will also be in charge of creating recruitment materials and advertisements. Klingelhoefer said as search facilitators they will have stakeholder meetings and will conduct all of the candidate screenings. Once completed, BOCES will then begin the interview process. "We will meet with all of the candidates and present a very comprehensive packet of their material to the board for their consideration," Klingelhoefer said.

Mensch said even though BOCES will do all of the research, the board would be in charge of making a final decision: "We do not pick your superintendent. We present to your board all of the applicants and make suggestions of who they should see based on criteria."

This service will come at a cost of $15,000 to the district. However, board vice president Scott Martella said every year the district puts aside funds to help cover services from BOCES.

"Much of this service is provided already by the taxpayers because we dedicate a certain amount of funds to Western Suffolk BOCES on an annual basis. Under the umbrella of that money is this service. The only thing we would have to pay for out of pocket per se, is the ads. That really becomes the only cost," Martella said.

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