Niskayuna School District picks confidential search option for next superintendent

Niskayuna High School entrance at Nott Street East in April.

Niskayuna High School entrance at Nott Street East in April.

NISKAYUNA – The Niskayuna School Board will pursue a confidential search for its next superintendent, meaning the name of the person seeking the position won’t be announced until a contract is in place. 

The search for a new superintendent begins as current Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra prepares to leave the district Oct. 6. He is taking over as superintendent of the New Hartford Central School District.

The vote to pursue a confidential search was unanimous among board members. 

Board member Brian Backus said after many meetings laying out the options afforded to the board “it makes the best sense for us to conduct a confidential search to get the best candidates for our next superintendent in Niskayuna.”

A confidential search is the same avenue the Schenectady City School District ended up using to find its new superintendent, after originally using a blend of both a traditional and confidential.  

A more traditional search would offer an opportunity for members of the public and other interested parties to interview the superintendent and give feedback. They would have no vote in picking the next superintendent though. That decision is left solely to the board.

A confidential search would limit interviews to mainly school board members. 

However, board Vice President Sarah Rogerson said the community would still have input into the search.

“I think also that there may be a misperception that a confidential search doesn’t include feedback from the community and it very much does, so I want to clarify any misconceptions,” Rogerson said. “We will provide continuous and multiple avenues for feedback from multiple stakeholders and I think I can say safely the board is committed to making sure voices are heard across all segments of the district.” 

The board is conducting a survey until Sept. 15 and has had over 400 responses so far. There are five questions in the survey. They are:

  1. What are the strengths of Niskayuna Central School District? 
  2. What needs to be improved? 
  3. What characteristics and personal attributes should the new superintendent have? 
  4. What will the new superintendent need to work on first? 
  5. Do you have any additional thoughts or comments? 

“What we’re seeing is very robust input coming in with a diverse group of opinions and it is going to prove very useful for this board in the process,” said board President Kim Tully. 

The survey can be done both online and by paper, which can be found in various places throughout town. 

The board will also conduct both in-person and virtual meetings with the community, asking the same questions from the survey. 

The board also entered a closed door session during its meeting to interview candidates to be the interim superintendent until a new superintendent is named. It did not take up action on the matter.

Take the survey online


Pick up a paper copy

Copies are available at the Jewish Community Center at 2565 Balltown Road; the Niskayuna Co-op at 2227 Nott St.; Niskayuna Town Hall at 1 Niskayuna Circle or the Niskayuna Branch Library at 2400 Nott St. East

Attend the in-person meeting
5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 in the Niskayuna High School Auditorium, 1626 Balltown Road

Attend the virtual meeting

6:30 p.m. on Sept. 2- RSVP by 3 p.m. Sept. 2 at 

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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