KINDERHOOK — Ichabod Crane School Superintendent Jason Thomson has resigned after less than four months on the job, citing the need to be closer to his family.
The Ichabod Crane Board of Education accepted Thomson’s resignation at its monthly meeting on May 19, held virtually on Zoom. Thomson made his decision public Wednesday in an email to parents.
Thomson, who moved from Delhi, a town of about 5,200 in Delaware County, in February to take the superintendent position, said his mother’s battle with Parkinson’s disease was big factor in his decision.
“My mom’s health has diminished significantly over the time period I was away at ICC,” he said Friday.
Thomson rented an apartment in Kinderhook while his wife and children remained in Delhi. Living two hours away from his family during the coronavirus pandemic has been difficult, he said, especially in light of his mother’s declining health.
“I’m the eldest of three siblings and need to be home in Delhi to provide care for her, as I’m the only sibling in the area,” he said.
Ichabod Crane School Board President Matthew Nelson said Thomson’s resignation came as a surprise, but said the district extends its thanks to him and wishes him and his family all the best.
Thomson began his job with ICC on Feb. 3, just weeks before the district closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. An Ichabod Crane student in the EMT program at the Columbia-Greene Educational Center tested positive for COVID-19 in late March.
Thomson had an unique tenure at Ichabod Crane, supervising the district’s response to the coronavirus and the transition to distance learning.
After Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the shutdown of all in-person classes, Thomson said he and the school staff were “ragged tired” but committed to helping students continue their studies at home.
The district has been in good hands with Thomson at the held during the crisis, Nelson said.
“I think that the superintendent and the entire administrative team has done an incredible job of handling an unexpected situation,” he said Friday.
Thomson will serve as superintendent until the end of the school year in June. His tenure was expected to last until 2023, when his current contract expires.
The board will hold a private meeting next week to discuss how to proceed, including the appointment of an interim superintendent and the search for Thomson’s replacement, Nelson said.
Thomson’s abrupt departure follows several years of turmoil in Ichabod Crane leadership. The previous superintendent, Michael Vanyo, stepped down from the position June 30, 2019, after he was charged with driving while intoxicated.
Thomson was selected as Vanyo’s successor after an extensive search.
The district had two interim superintendents, Suzanne Guntlow and Lee Bordick, before Thomson was appointed with unanimous support by the board on Dec. 18, 2019.
Thomson praised the district and school community and said the decision to resign was a difficult one.
“At the end of the day, I’m putting my family first,” he said.
Nora Mishanec is a reporter at Columbia-Greene Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-828-1616, ext. 2500.