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F-FCS decision could come soon

Friday, June 13, 2014 - Updated: 10:11 AM


FONDA -- The Fonda-Fultonville Central District Board of Education will meet with the final two candidates for the superintendent position next week and could possibly make a final decision by June 23, officials said Wednesday.

"It is going to be a difficult decision by the board of education," Superintendent Raymond Colucciello said.

At a special meeting Monday, the candidates -- Elementary School Principal Thomas Ciaccio and High School Principal David Halloran -- were introduced to the public and presented their respective plans for what each would do if they landed the job.

Halloran's plan consists of unifying the district as "one building, one school and one program," by involving all stakeholders in the district when discussing how the school should move forward.

One of the first things Halloran's plan to do is listen to those stakeholders about the strengths and weaknesses of the district and getting a consensus on how to address them.

"It's about trying to create more of a shared decision-making culture in the district," Halloran said. "We have a unique opportunity here in Fonda because of our single campus and we need to take advantage of that."

One idea is aligning the K-12 curriculum to foster collaboration among all the teachers and students. It will make teachers more aware of what the students need to know in their field in all grade levels, he said, which can benefit students.

Halloran also plans to make the district a "hub" for the community by making it more accessible. One example could be hosting an adult education program in which volunteers come in to teach adults.

These initiatives would foster a better dialogue, better understand and communication between the district and the community.

"Opening the building to them helps them to know we think it is their building too," Halloran said.

Ciaccio had similar ideas and broke his plan down into three phases.

The first phase involves talking with the community, staff, students, and board of education to find out common values that can move the district forward, what the strengths and weaknesses are, and the key issues facing the district.

The second phase involves a document and policy review such as budget and audit reports, and collective bargaining contracts. It also involves looking at school systems such as transportation, facilities and food service and making sure they are running smoothly and together.

The third and final phase of his plan involves the budget process. Ciaccio said he plans to take part in a series of workshops and training sessions as well as work as a team with Colucciello and district treasurer Carey Shultz.

Ciaccio also plans to be a visible presence inside and outside of the district by attending not only school functions but visiting classrooms and attending village meetings.

"It is important that teachers and students know who I am," he said. "It is also important to know what is facing the community because that impacts our school district."

After the presentations the public had the chance to question the candidates and provide feedback to the board of education, which will consider those comments in its final decision.

No official date of that announcement has been set but Colucciello said the board hopes to make that selection by June 23.

"They have been at this for a long time. They interviewed a lot of people, held committee meetings and a public forum. The process has been thorough and extensive," Colucciello said. "A good process brings good product."

The June 16 board of education meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. After hearing public comment, the board will interview candidates in executive session.


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