By Colin Hogan
Fulton City School District Superintendent Bill Lynch will be retiring from his position at the end of the 2015-16 school year, district officials confirmed Wednesday.
Lynch, who has served as superintendent for more than a decade, recently announced his plan to retire to the district’s staff via email. Board of Education President David Cordone said Wednesday that Lynch will continue in his role through the end of his current contract, which ends June 30, 2016.
Cordone, who has served on the board for most of Lynch’s tenure with the district, praised Lynch for the level of stability his leadership has provided over the last 11 years, noting that many districts struggle to keep superintendents in place for that long.
“We’re very fortunate to have had the same superintendent in place for that length of time. He really brought a level of stability to the district,” Cordone said. “We’ve appreciated his leadership.”
The board has begun putting wheels in motion to find Lynch’s successor, Cordone said. In an executive session Tuesday, board members reviewed qualifications of consulting firms recommended by the New York State School Boards Association that specialize in such matters. Cordone said the board has narrowed its list to three candidates, and will officially make its selection in a special meeting on Sept. 3.
Once a consultant is lined up, the board will begin tailoring a search and hiring plan that fits the district’s specific needs. Cordone called the act of hiring a superintendent “one of the most important decisions a school board makes,” and said the board plans remain transparent and seek community input through the process.
“Right now, we’re looking to fine tune and tailor a plan that looks at what the district and community need in the next superintendent,” Cordone said.
Cordone said once the plan has been worked out with the consultant, residents can expect to see an online survey posted on the district’s website that seeks input for the superintendent search. The board also intends to schedule either site-based or general public gatherings to hear feedback from the community, the details of which will be announced as the process unfolds, he said.
Cordone noted that, unlike neighboring Hannibal Central School District — which saw its superintendent retire this summer and had to find an interim replacement within about month’s time — Fulton has the benefit of a full school year to work through the process.
“We’re fortunate that we will have the whole school year to work this out,” he said.
Lynch, who was away on vacation this week, was not reachable for comment as of press time Thursday.