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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 27, 2010

Marcelle appointed to interim post as superintendent’s search is narrowed to six

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

GUILDERLAND — Michael Marcelle will be briefly at the helm of the Dutchman ship if all goes as charted.

Tuesday, the school board appointed him to start on July 1 as an interim superintendent. Marcelle will earn $600 a day until the new superintendent is in place.

John McGuire is retiring after three years as Guilderland’s superintendent.

“Guilderland has always been a great district,” Marcelle said yesterday. He said he was very familiar with Guilderland and knows a number of people in the district since he had been superintendent at South Colonie until his retirement in August of 2008.

After a long career in education, including being the superintendent at Cherry Valley, Scotia-Glenville, and South Colonie, Marcelle is currently serving as the interim superintendent at Galway. That job ends June 30 when Berne-Knox-Westerlo’s interim superintendent, Kimberly LaBelle, takes over the permanent post at Galway.

The very next day, Marcelle will start at Guilderland. He will also work four days in June to meet with the central office staff, said Colleen O’Connell, who heads the board’s committee in the search for a new superintendent.

Last Monday, the Guilderland School Board interviewed two candidates for the interim post. “Both were eminently qualified,” said O’Connell, but “the chemistry” felt right for Marcelle at Guilderland, she said.

Marcelle, for his part, said he felt “honored” to be considered for the interim Guilderland post.

Just after retiring two years ago, he said, “I took a year off and my wife and I spent time with our grandchildren and traveled.” The Marcelles, who still live in South Colonie, have three children.

But, he went on, “I love doing what I do.”

On serving as an interim superintendent, he said, “It’s a challenge because you want to be brought up to speed as quickly as possible.”

One of the challenges he will face in his brief tenure at Guilderland is guiding the district in its response to a report on its special-education program. Guilderland hired an outside consultant to evaluate the program, and a report is expected at the school board’s next meeting, on June 8.

Marcelle said he planned to be at that meeting. “We did something similar at South Colonie,” he said. After that report was in, he said, “We were able to work to improve delivery of services to students.”

He concluded, “I really look forward to the opportunity of being part of a great school district and keeping things moving in the right direction.”

Meanwhile, the search for a permanent superintendent has been narrowed to six candidates. They will be interviewed on June 15 and 16 by three committees of stakeholders. Each committee of 15 is headed by one of the district’s assistant superintendents with one community member, two parents, two members of the Guilderland Teachers’ Association, and one representative from each of the district’s other bargaining units.

O’Connell said of having heterogeneous interview committees, “You can’t play to the teachers; you can’t play to the parents.”

After the stakeholders’ interviews, she said, the board will get feedback, based on a rubric. That feedback will be statistically analyzed by BOCES.

O’Connell anticipates that two or three candidates will make it to the third and final round of interviews on June 29 and 30, after which the board will make its appointment.

Other business

In other business, the board:

— Gave a standing ovation to 10 district employees who are retiring — McGuire, superintendent for three years; Marlene Schager, who worked in food service for 21 years; Sheila DiMaggio, a librarian at Farnsworth Middle School for 19 years; Eileen Bray, a teacher at Guilderland Elementary School for 24 years; Sheila Gralow, a teaching assistant at Lynnwood Elementary since 1998; Cathy Beadnell, a teacher at Guilderland Elementary for 21 years; Richard Arnold, a physics teacher at Guilderland High School since 1974; Joy Pierle, who has worked at the district since she graduated from Guilderland High 40 years ago and retired as treasurer; Arlene Griesemer, a cook at Farnsworth Middle School for 38 years; and James Dillon, principal at Lynnwood Elementary School since 1993.

“As you retire, may you look back with pride on all you have done…May you move on in happiness and health;” said Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Lin Severance after each retiree had been presented with a plaque;

— Heard McGuire thank the community for passing next year’s $87.4 million budget.

He also welcomed Allan Simpson to the board and thanked Emilio Genzano for his service. “His contributions have been substantial,” said McGuire.

Incumbents Barbara Fraterrigo, Gloria Towle-Hilt, and O’Connell were re-elected; each will serve a three-year term. Simpson, who came in fourth, will serve for one year; he unseated Genzano who had been appointed to fill the term of a board member who died in office. [For the full story on the May 18 elections, go online to www.altamontenterprise.com and look under Guilderland archives for May 20, 2020];

— Heard from McGuire that the state comptroller’s office will be performing a second audit of Guilderland finances, having finished its first round, auditing all the school districts statewide;

— Agreed to hold its reorganizational meeting on July 6. Julie Cuneo has announced she is moving and will resign from the board. Board President Richard Weisz told the board that it can’t legally act on filling Cuneo’s seat until after July 1 but can discuss the process it will use before that;

— Heard from O’Connell that Simpson had used a district logo in his campaign literature, which she said was illegal and inappropriate. She asked the board to refer the matter to its policy committee, which it did.

Simpson told The Enterprise yesterday, “I took a logo off the Internet to put in a word document. I didn’t know it was illegal. It wasn’t done with malicious intent”;

— Established a Class of 1970 Fortieth Reunion Scholarship fund for a graduate pursuing higher education;

— Appointed EBS-RMSCO to provide third-party services for the district’s self-insured workers’ compensation program for three years, starting July1, for a total estimated fee of $46,125;

— Appointed Thomas Nicolla consulting Service, PLLC to provide athletic trainer services for three years, starting July 1, for $30,000 a year;

— Accepted donated lacrosse equipment from Fred Tresselt;

— Heard congratulations from Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Demian Singleton for seven spring sports teams qualifying for the Scholar-Athlete Award, meaning each team had a team average of 90 percent or higher — boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, boys’ and girls’ track and field, softball, baseball, and boys’ tennis;

— Learned that senior Michael Diana took first prize and sophomore Tucker Seinberg-Hughes took second place for their photographs in the Guilderland Public Library’s “A Day in the Life” contest.

Diana, a student of Christopher Gockley, won a $50 gift card to Stuyvesant Plaza, and Seinberg-Hughes, a student of Deborah Murphy, won a $25 Stuyvesant card;

— Heard a request from Judy Slack that the board discuss if it will pay to send board members to the annual New York State School Boards’ Association convention. Last year, the district paid tuition and hotel expenses for just the voting delegate, and tuition for the other four members who wanted to go.

“We have as much a duty to educate ourselves as the staff does,’ said Fraterrigo.

Weisz agreed that it was professional development but said the budget had to be considered;

—         Met in executive session to discuss a personnel issue and an update on negotiations with the Guilderland Employees Association.

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