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Grand Island Board of Education: Report offered on superintendent search for Christmann's replacement

by jmaloni
Fri, Dec 7th 2012 07:00 pm

by Kathleen Duff

At a special workshop meeting of the Grand Island Board of Education Monday evening, trustees and administrators heard a report from Dr. Steve Uebbing and Tim McElheran of the Warner School of Education (University of Rochester), regarding the search to replace Interim Superintendent of Schools Robert Christmann. The Warner Group was retained by the district for the sum of $16,000 to assist with finding qualified candidates for the position.

Uebbing, a retired superintendent of the Canandaigua City Schools, reported that varying numbers of people attended the focus groups he conducted to question the public on what qualities people want in the new superintendent. He also gathered information from surveys of the community and from interviews with administrators. "These are the stakeholders," he commented.

Looking at the responses gathered, Uebbing found that the public was looking for these qualities in the next superintendent:

•Fiscal responsibility

•Open communication, "approachability"

•Attentiveness to the needs of students, teachers and administrators

•Willingness to make a long-term commitment to the district


•Somebody who understands teaching and learning

•Improvement of the district's already high academic ranking

Uebbing said that his group would present seven or eight candidates for interview and then two or three for final consideration. He emphasized that the district would not only be interviewing the candidates, but that the candidates would be interviewing Grand Island as a district and as a community. The deadline to apply for the position is Dec 15. A list of six to eight finalists will be ready the last week in January, and finalists at the end of April or beginning of May. July 1 would be the beginning date of service for the new superintendent.

In a separate presentation, John Ticco, vice president of Campus Management, gave an overview of the district's upcoming capital project.

Ticco said that project plans for Grand Island High School and Veronica E. Connor Middle School would go to the State Education Department in mid-January. Construction on the high school technology wing should begin in April 2013. The final estimate report from Cannon Design is ready to go out for bid and is "on target budget-wise," Ticco said.

Campus Construction will manage "bid day," which involves public opening and reading of bids and tabulation and analysis of results. The company will also meet with low bidders in "pre-award" meetings to review plans before the actual awarding of contracts. A "kick-off" meeting will be held about two weeks before the actual groundbreaking on the wing.

Campus Construction recommends authorizing the superintendent of schools to execute change orders up to $35,000 and that a process be developed for change orders in excess of that amount. Also yet to be determined is how much building principals will be involved in the day- to-day construction process.

Finally, trustees unanimously approved the district's annual professional performance review plan for submission to the State Education Department. The New York state commissioner of education requires school districts to evaluate both novice and tenured teachers of academic subjects according to criteria agreed upon by the districts and the local teachers unions.


The next meeting of the Grand Island Board of Education is Monday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Veronica Connor Middle School Little Theater. The next meeting of the Grand Island Board of Education is Monday, Dec. 10 at Veronica E. Connor Middle School. The board will walk its annual tour of the building. The transportation center vote is Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the high school gym.

Board of Education Trustees

  • President: David Goris
  • Vice President: Paul Krull
  • Trustees: Glenn Bobeck, Tak Nobumoto, Joan Droit, Donna Tomkins, Emily Ciraolo
  • Superintendent: Robert Christmann
  • District Clerk: Janet Schuster

Send comments to the board at [email protected].

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