Johnstown hires Crankshaw to be new superintendent

William Crankshaw
William Crankshaw

Categories: Fulton | Montgomery | Schoharie, News

JOHNSTOWN — William Crankshaw is coming home to the Greater Johnstown School District as its new superintendent.

The GJSD school board voted unanimously Thursday to approve a five-year deal for Crankshaw, who is a veteran administrator with a Ph.D., to become the district’s new permanent superintendent.

“A We feel that he will provide a sense of stability and normalcy to our district in these most uncertain of times,” School Board President Chris Tallon said in a released statement. “On behalf of the Board of Education, I would like to thank all of you for your patience and understanding during this long and difficult process. The insight and recommendations that members of our district provided to the board were invaluable in selecting Dr. Crankshaw to be our next superintendent.”

Crankshaw, who is currently the superintendent at the Cooperstown Central School District, will replace interim superintendent Karen Geelan who was hired by Johnstown in September 2019 for $600 per day to serve as the short-term replacement for former Superintendent Patricia Kilburn who left Johnstown after the 2018-19 school year to become the district superintendent at Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES.

According to a news release posted to the Cooperstown Central School District Crankshaw will officially notify the district with a letter of resignation next week, and will join the GJSD beginning Sept. 1. In the same news release, Crankshaw thanked Cooperstown’s students, school board and faculty for their commitment to excellence in education over his four-year tenure at that district.

Neither Crankshaw nor Tallon returned messages seeking comment for this story.

District officials in May announced that Geelan would serve the district until Sept. 30 unless a replacement could be hired sooner.

Crankshaw has deep roots in Johnstown. He graduated from Johnstown High School, served as a music teacher and department head for 14 years at the district and worked as principal for the now closed Glebe Street Elementary School. Other elements of his resume include having served as the director of elementary curriculum and instruction and Committee on Special Education chairperson in the Northville Central School District and superintendent of the Remsen Central School District in 2013.

Crankshaw’s educational background includes having received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Ithaca College and a master’s in music education from The College of Saint Rose. He earned his school administrative credentials at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and a doctorate in educational leadership from the Sage Graduate School.

HFM BOCES District Superintendent Dr. David Ziskin, who served as the Johnstown search consultant, says Dr. Crankshaw matches the candidate profile that was developed with community feedback at the start of the search process.

“The building of the candidate profile for the Johnstown superintendent was intentional and thorough. Feedback from the community, school personnel, the school board, and parents reflected a desire for a passionate leader who possesses strong fiscal and pedagogical experience as a superintendent. The collective feedback also indicated that familiarity and appreciation for our region and the Johnstown community was an important quality,” Dr. Ziskin said. “Dr. Crankshaw is a proven leader who expressed a resolute commitment to Johnstown throughout the search process.”

School officials did not include any information about Crankshaw’s compensation in the news releases announcing his hiring.

Crankshaw lives in Gloversville and is an active member of the greater community. He serves as a board member of Lexington’s Transitions program, is a member of Rotary International, and is an advisor for the Caroga Arts Collective.

“Coming home is meaningful – one thing I’ve learned in my career is that meaningful investment in a community one is passionate about is critical,” Dr. Crankshaw said. “I couldn’t be happier or more honored to return to Johnstown to work along-side its passionate educators on behalf of students.”


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