Four finalists picked for superintendent

SARANAC LAKE – The Saranac Lake Central School District has narrowed the list of candidates for its pending superintendent vacancy to four finalists.

School board President Debra Lennon said Friday that the district initially had 16 applicants for the job, created by the pending retirement of Gerald Goldman.

“We had quite a few from the North Country, a couple locals, and some from out of the state,” she said.

Six of the candidates were interviewed Feb. 15, including two applicants who are currently district employees.

Lennon said the list has now been narrowed to four people, one of whom is an internal candidate, who will all be interviewed on March 6 by a trio of panels: the Board of Education, a group of community residents and a committee of school employees, including union officials.

During prior superintendent searches, the district has released the names of its finalists and set up opportunities for the public to meet them. That won’t happen this time around, Lennon said.

“We’ve talked about it, and we’re not going to release the names, because it just makes it less stressful for the candidates in their respective communities, in the districts where they are,” Lennon said. “Until they are the chosen candidate, we feel like it just makes their lives a lot easier.”

Lennon said she’s happy with the quality and credentials of the applicant pool. She said the board is looking for someone “who has ideas on how to run a school district without losing programs for students but finding areas where we can save money, and someone who will be involved in the community.

“We need somebody who has clear ideas of where education is going and how we’re going to get there with the budget constraints we have,” she said.

Lennon said she expects the school board will chose a new superintendent within a few weeks of the March 6 interviews. The new superintendent would potentially start work July 1, Lennon said.