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Galway board set to appoint superintendent

Galway board set to appoint superintendent

Decision to promote assistant superintendent comes without external search
Galway board set to appoint superintendent
Photographer: provided photo

Galway school board members know who they want to be the district's next superintendent; they didn't have to look far.

The board plans to appoint Brita Donovan, currently the district's assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, to replace outgoing Superintendent Shannon Shine at its board meeting Tuesday night, according to a prepared statement from the district.

The school board selected Donovan, who joined the Galway district in 2012 as a school principal, without posting the job or soliciting candidates from outside the district. Some community members said the move was made without public input and ignored any process geared toward hiring the best person for the job. 

But board president Jay Anderson, as well as the New York State School Boards Association, defended the district's decision, arguing a more involved search comes at a financial cost.  

The school board is offering Donovan a five-year contract with a starting salary of $135,000, beginning July 1. A former physical education teacher, Donovan worked for eight years in the Fort Edward Union Free School District before joining Galway. There, she has served as a principal, athletic director and in her current assistant superintendent role since 2014. 

Donovan lives in Stillwater with her husband, Wayne.

"She has proven herself to be a consummate professional who is dedicated to student achievement," Anderson said in the prepared statement. "She has significant leadership experience, excellent communication skills, and is fully qualified to continue working toward the district goals, many of which Mrs. Donovan herself identified."

Donovan said she looks forward to a "seamless transition" and pointed to improving school culture that celebrates student success as a key to improving student outcomes.

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