SARATOGA SPRINGS — The city school district announced Wednesday that it has selected Michael Patton as its new superintendent.
Patton is the superintendent of the South Glens Falls Central School District, a post he has held since 2011. He replaces Michael Piccirillo, who is retiring after five years as superintendent.
Patton's new post will be officially announced at the school board meeting that starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, according to a prepared statement from the school district.
During his career in education, Patton has worked as a high school counselor and assistant principal in Ballston Spa, high school principal in Queensbury and as superintendent of the 3,200-student South Glens Falls district. He grew up in Clifton Park, the son of a former Waterford-Halfmoon school superintendent, and worked for a time in human resources at General Electric in Schenectady.
Piccirillo's retirement is effective Jan. 1, after which Patton will take the helm as soon as school resumes in the new year.
"The dedicated leadership of Dr. Michael Piccirillo has been a key part of the school district's success," school board President JoAnne Kiernan said in the prepared statement, thanking Piccirillo.
"Dr. Patton is a proven leader and outstanding communicator," Kiernan's statement continued. "His ability to connect with individuals and groups at all levels enables him to tap into the best of the community's culture, talent and commitment to successfully lead our district into the future."
Patton won the position over two other finalists: Doug Silvernell, Saratoga's assistant superintendent in charge of instruction, and Timothy Terranova, deputy superintendent in the West Irondequoit district outside Rochester. Patton was the only finalist with presvious experience as a superintendent, a credential he emphasized during a public presentation during the final phase of the search process.
During that presentation, Patton highlighted his connections to Saratoga Springs: His mother worked for the Prevention Council of Saratoga; he has attended church here for more than 20 years; his two sons -- ninth-grader and a high school junior -- started kindergarten at Dorothy Nolan Elementary School. He also promised to immerse himself in Saratoga Springs school history and traditions and to make himself accessible to students, staff and parents.
"As the superintendent, I truly believe you have to be visible; you have to be accessible to students and staff and parents," he said during his public presentation at Saratoga High earlier this month.
Patton's appointment in Saratoga also creates a superintendent's opening in South Glens Falls.
"I am writing to share some bittersweet news with all of you," Patton wrote to the South Glens Falls school community Wednesday in announcing his appointment. "The decision to pursue this professional opportunity has been difficult because my family and I truly love being here."