OESJ eyes principal candidates

OPPENHEIM-Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District officials will speak Friday with candidates for the high school principal position.

OESJ Acting Superintendent Thomas Gallagher said the Board of Education will meet Friday at 5 p.m. for an executive session to interview three candidates for the permanent principal job at OESJ High School.

“I’ve done a pretty thorough search and I’m bringing three candidates in front of the board,” Gallagher said.

In addition to the board, the candidates will be interviewed by teachers and members of the community.

“The board will then deliberate, and hopefully we will have a nomination by the first meeting in August,” Gallagher said.

Former High School Principal Ronald Smith resigned in late June after a leave of absence for undisclosed reasons. According to Gallagher, in June, Smith sought opportunities elsewhere. Through the terms of his agreement, Smith was to be paid his salary up until Aug. 3.

The main quality Gallagher believes the board will look for is stability.

“The board is definitely looking for someone who is going to stay a while,” Gallagher said.

The salary for the position has not been determined.

Gallagher said Smith left the school making $79,000 a year, but there may be changes to the salary.

“The problem is, at $79,000, many of our teachers would be close to that,” Gallagher said.

Ted Kawryga was formally named the acting principal of OESJ High School in June after he was chosen to temporarily fill in for Smith

Gallagher said Kawryga would assist the new principal. He did not say how long that arrangement would last.

Gallagher said the district has not started a search for a new permanent superintendent yet, but will begin the search in September.

Gallagher stepped in after former OESJ Superintendent Laura Lawrence was placed on administrative leave and then resigned.

New director

On Thursday, the board will hold a meeting at 6:30 p.m. to decide on a new director of facilities, following an executive session.

“We have a final candidate,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher said the board, if they decide Thursday, would have the new hire begin Friday.

The current director of facilities, Dan Parker, is stepping down Thursday, Gallagher said.