VALATIE — Ichabod Crane Central School District Superintendent Michael Vanyo is on medical leave after he was injured during a hiking accident on vacation with his family outside the state earlier this month.
Vanyo got surgery on his legs Tuesday in Syracuse and will remain on medical leave until further notice, according to a statement from the district Friday.
“The surgery was successful and he is on the road to recovery,” said Suzanne Guntlow, principal of APPR, Professional Development, Curriculum and Instruction. “He is doing well.”
Guntlow will handle Vanyo’s day-to-day tasks during his indefinite absence. The Ichabod Crane Central School District Board of Education unanimously approved the decision during a meeting Tuesday.
“We chose Suzanne Guntlow at the recommendation of Mr. Vanyo,” Board of Education President Matthew Nelson said Friday. “She is one of the most senior members of the district. She was a primary school building principal before this. She is very knowledgable about the district’s affairs and how the district runs.”
The district also benefits from utilizing someone already on the district payroll, like Guntlow, rather than paying an additional employee.
The district does not anticipate Vanyo will be on medical leave for the entire 2018-19 school year, which starts Sept. 6, Guntlow said. The superintendent could be out for six to eight weeks, Nelson said.
“All district staff are working hard to ensure we’re ready for the successful and seamless opening day of the school year on Sept. 6,” Guntlow said. “We also want to be as supportive of Mr. Vanyo as possible during this time and we’re making sure that all the district’s responsibilities are being fulfilled while he is out.”
Nelson does not see Vanyo’s absence disrupting the district’s regular business.
The board appointed Questar III Board of Cooperative Educational Services Superintendent Gladys Cruz as the district’s acting superintendent while Vanyo is out — something BOCES does for districts that require temporary help.
Questar III BOCES provides services to public school districts in Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer counties that pay to be members of the organization. The BOCES superintendents often take over as acting superintendents for their member districts during temporary absences, Cruz said.
Cruz will be available for the district if needed. For example, if the state Education Department sends the district forms that can only be signed by a superintendent, Cruz is authorized to sign those documents during Vanyo’s absence.
“I look forward to supporting Suzanne Guntlow in her day-to-day role during this time,” Cruz said. “I will support the district when they need me. I will help any district if they need a temporary acting superintendent. We wish Mike Vanyo a speedy recovery.”