Sutherland stepping down after 36 years

The Greenville Central School District is launching the search for a new superintendent after Tammy Sutherland, who has been with the district 36 years, announced her resignation in August. File photo

GREENVILLE — School District Superintendent Tammy Sutherland will retire Feb. 1 and the district is launching a search to find her replacement.

The board of education unanimously voted on a resolution Monday to enter a contract with the education consulting firm Castallo & Silky, LLC, to aid the district in finding Sutherland’s replacement.

Sutherland has been with the district 36 years and has worn many hats in that time.

“During her many years of service, our school has benefited tremendously from her roles as treasurer, assistant superintendent for business and superintendent,” according to an Aug. 10 letter from the board of education to local families. “While her accomplishments are too numerous to list, one has only to look at the campus to see how a vision can be transformed into reality.”

Sutherland was appointed superintendent in 2016 after serving as interim following the retirement of Cheryl Dudley in fall 2015. Before her appointment as interim superintendent, Sutherland was the district’s assistant superintendent for business.

With Sutherland’s retirement, the board of education is undertaking a search for her replacement with the assistance of Castallo & Silky, which has worked with more than 120 school districts on superintendent searches, according to Monday’s resolution.

The firm’s fee under the contract will be $16,000 plus expenses not to exceed $3,000, including postage, travel, lodging, meals and other expenses, according to the contract.

The firm will be paid 50% upfront and the remaining 50% will be paid on completion of the search, according to the contract.

Alan Pole of Castallo & Silky said the firm could also help the district with finding an interim superintendent if needed, but it looks like that won’t be necessary.

“With our chosen timeline, we will hopefully have a new superintendent here by Feb. 1, so there does not appear to be, at this time, a need for an interim superintendent,” Pole said.

Board members submitted to Pole seven completed questionnaires outlining the qualifications and qualities they would like to see in the new superintendent. Pole asked the remaining board members to complete the questionnaire with their priorities for the superintendent search.

Another issue the board should determine early in the search process is whether input from the community — staff, teachers, students families — should be solicited regarding prioritized qualities for Sutherland’s replacement, Pole said.

“One of the ways we can do that is to create a survey that would be put on the district’s website, we would notify the community through the newsletter and any other means the district has for communication, for anybody who wants to complete the survey with feedback on those things that the community, the staff and perhaps the students want for the new superintendent,” Pole said.

The consultant provided the district with a model survey that could be utilized. About 200 survey responses would be considered representative of the community, Pole said.

“It’s another piece of information that gathers the thoughts of people in the community,” Pole said.

The board agreed to conduct a survey to generate input.

Pole also outlined the resume submission, interview and screening processes for all applicants.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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