The Schenectady school board is set to begin negotiations with the lone finalist for the district’s open superintendent position.
While the finalist appears to be Pedro Roman, a former teacher and administrator in Schenectady schools who now works as an assistant superintendent in Newburgh public schools, the school board has still not named the remaining candidate.
The Albany Times Union this week first reported that Roman was the sole finalist, and the Daily Gazette confirmed with a participant in stakeholder meetings that Roman was the only finalist interviewed in that process.
“We are going to enter negotiations,” Board President John Foley said Wednesday, adding that he did not know how long to expect negotiations to last. “I don’t know what the candidate’s expectations are, and the board has to make up its mind as to what its expectations are.”
Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent Anita Murphy, who led the district’s search process, during an update to the board Wednesday night said the board had decided to offer a contract to the finalist and would move forward with negotiations. She said the name of the finalist would not be released until a contract was finalized because of the chance negotiations fell apart – which she said was unlikely.
“Names will not be made public until there is a succesful contract and appointment by the board of education,” she said at the meeting. “Hopefully, next month we will have an appointment, and we will be ready to move to the next stage.”
The board has outlined a timeline to have a new superintendent in place at the start of the new school year, July 1. The new superintendent will immediately face enormous challenges to support students after over a year of disrupted learning and take charge of a staff shaken by layoffs, key administrative vacancies and deep mistrust of previous district leadership.
Roman, who did not respond to messages Wednesday, would not be new to the Schenectady district: he worked as a special education teacher and school principal in the district over the span of about 15 years, according to his LinkedIn page. Roman, who earned degrees from Marist College, The College of Saint Rose and Sage College, joined the Newburgh district as a school principal in 2015, eventually serving as human resources director and assistant superintendent there.