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Administrative shifts to benefit SCS

MS Principal Gary Gerst will become full-time Director of Learning (overseeing special education program and teachers).  Mike Caraccio, middle photo, will become MS Principal.
Pat Brown, right, will become K-12 Humanities Coordinator. 

When Skaneateles students return from the holiday vacation, they will find familiar faces in new places.
Middle School Principal Gary Gerst will become the full time Director of Learning for the district and Mike Caraccio will take over as Middle School Principal.  Caraccio currently is the 6-12 Humanities Coordinator.
The changes were made at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting based on the recommendations of Superintendent Ken Slentz and will take effect January 3.
The appointments are in response to evolving changes in student, staff and district needs, and are expected to “enhance the effectiveness of our administrative structure to better meet those needs,” said Slentz.
As Director of Learning, Gerst will lead the special education department and program for students with disabilities.
“For the past year and a half, Gary had been splitting his time between Middle School Principal and the Director of Learning position,” Slentz said. “However, based on our student, teacher, parent, and program needs, we have determined that this position needs to be full time to ensure that all of the needs are well met.”
Caraccio, who will replace Gerst as principal, joined the district this past summer as 6-12 Humanities Coordinator. “As the faculty and administrator search committee anticipated, Mike has proven to be a great asset to the district with a very strong skillset,” Slentz said.
Additional changes will be discussed in January, said Slentz, who plans to recommend that the board appoint Patrick Brown, currently the K-5 Humanities Coordinator (amongst other roles), to the position of K-12 Humanities Coordinator.
Also Tuesday, the Board accepted a letter of retirement from Steve Widrick effective June 30, 2017. Work on hiring a new elementary principal will begin soon. “We will be meeting with the elementary team to discuss the process that will be utilized for recruiting a new elementary principal who will begin on or about July 1, 2017.  We will then let you know what role the community will play in this process,” Slentz said in a letter to the community.
Slentz said the administrative changes will “maximize the skillsets of our current administrators,” which will help better meet the district’s mission, vision, and strategic planning goals. In addition, the changes will allow the district to adjust to anticipated reductions in enrollment. All costs associated with these changes are covered within the existing administrative budget, Slentz said.
“I am truly looking forward to working with the leadership team in this new structure as we continue to improve upon the teaching and learning processes at Skaneateles Central Schools,” he said.
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Lynda Quick
45 East Elizabeth Street
Skaneateles, NY 13152