Arlington district looks for new principal

ARLINGTON -- Arlington School District is preparing for a job search it has not had to worry about for nearly two decades.

But at the end of the school year, his 19th, Kerry Csizmesia will retire from his principal post of Arlington Memorial Middle and High School.

The school board and staff have had more than two years to prepare for the transition as Csizmesia announced his intent to retire in 2010, but the board is now on the brink of the process and has formed a search committee to undertake the daunting task.

That committee is made up of five teachers, two school board members, Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union's superintendent and special education director, the principal of Fisher Elementary and two members of the community. The group will have an initial meeting Jan. 12 to develop its purpose, establish important attributes of a successful candidate, look at organizational needs, set meeting dates and firm up a timeline for the hiring process.

Superintendent Karen Gallese distributed an initial timeline Wednesday calling for the vacancy to be advertised early in January following the group's second meeting and concluding with a hire in March.

At the committee's early January meeting, according to the draft timeline, the group will develop a job description to advertise, discuss advertising options, set a salary range and contract and develop interview questions. Later in January the committee will review resumes and select candidates to interview. Gallese said it is possible the advertisement will remain posted beyond that meeting if sufficient candidates have not applied.

By February, applicants will be interviewed and two or three top candidates will be selected for return interviews in March and to meet the staff and community. Later that month a new principal may be hired to begin over the summer.

"I'm hoping we can make a decision by the second meeting in March," Gallese said.

According to the timeline, the job is expected to be posted less than one month. Board member George Carpenter questioned whether advertising the position may be moved up to December so that potential candidates may have time to consider a change in position over the winter vacation.

Because the committee will not have an opportunity to discuss where to advertise the position or what it would like the advertisement to say prior to January, Gallese said it makes sense to delay advertising until the committee does its work.

In addition to teachers, administrators, and Arlington school board members the committee includes former Arlington school board member K. John Smith and Celeste Keel, a member of the Sandgate School Board.

Contact Dawson Raspuzzi at or follow on Twitter @DawsonRaspuzzi


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