Keene hires new super

KEENE VALLEY – Keene Central School District has appointed Dan Mayberry to the position of superintendent.

Mayberry, formerly the principal for two years, will remain on as principal for ninth through 12th grades. The district is currently in the process of hiring a second principal for kindergarten through eighth grades.

Kathy Regan, vice president of the school board, said the interview process was rigorous.

“We interviewed three people, and Dan was interviewed by a group of board members, a group of teachers, a group of staff and community members,” Regan said. “So getting through an interview at Keene Central is not an easy situation, but we felt bringing the community into the interview is important because it’s a community school.”

The small school district, with a total of 107 students and 26 teachers, discussed sharing a superintendent with nearby districts like Schroon Lake Central School District. The Keene school board had a joint meeting with the Schroon Lake school board back in May, but those plans fell through.

Mayberry was chosen unanimously by the board for superintendent at a starting salary of $93,000. Regan said he was selected for some of the same reasons he was chosen as principal.

“He was the best choice for principal a few years ago,” she said. “He’s smart and knows the laws and also how things work in the Adirondacks.”

He replaces former part-time superintendent Cynthia Ford-Johnston, who was full-time superintendent for many years and has been phasing into retirement. Mayberry’s position is full-time. Regan said adding another principal to assist Mayberry was necessary because of growing state regulations.

“With all this Common Core and the reporting that needs to happen, it became clear to us we needed two full-time people,” Regan said.

“I believe they felt I had the best combination of skills and personality,” Mayberry said. “Where I wanted to take the district probably matched where they want to go.”

Mayberry said the districts’ challenges are its small size and making sure what it does is cost effective.

“It’s a fantastic small school atmosphere in the Adirondacks,” Mayberry said. “We are very unique in education, and my goal is to keep us viable well into the future.”

Tonight, the school district will have an organizational meeting where the board will pick a new president and swear in two members elected in May: Sheryl Quinn and Joe Pete Wilson Jr. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the school’s library.