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Superintendent search continues for Peru Central

— The Peru Central School Board decided at its Oct. 11 meeting to wait until November to set a deadline for the search of a new superintendent.

During discussions about hiring a new superintendent, the school board opted to table a motion to set a specific date to replace former Superintendent Dr. Thomas Stapleford, who unexpectedly resigned just three months after accepting the job.

In the meantime, board members plan to enlist the help of Board of Cooperational Educational Services Superintendent Craig King in their search for a new superintendent.

King’s services as a hiring consultant are offered free of charge to school districts through the New York State Education Department, according to A. Paul Scott who retired as Peru school superintendent in June only to return as interim superintendent in September until a new one can be hired.

“What the board requested tonight is that they would like to see if it’s possible to have Mr. King join the board at their meeting next month,” Scott said after the meeting. “Part of Mr. King’s function as the region’s BOCES superintendent, he can serve as a search consultant for a school board and its built into the annual administrative fee that every school district pays to the BOCES.”

Stapleford took a sudden leave of absence in September, less than three months after he accepted the position, later submitting an official resignation. School board officials could not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding Stapleford’s resignation, attributing it to personnel matters.

“The district certainly appreciates Dr. Stapleford for his service,” Jackie Kelleagher, Lawyer for the Peru Central School District said. “But since it is a personnel matter, it’s confidential and the board can't discuss it. But I can assure you that the board has taken all appropriate public actions regarding this matter.”

According to school board president Rod Driscoll, the change in superintendents is not projected to cost more than the $145,000 allotted for Stapleford’s salary.

“We do not intend on going over the amount that we budgeted,” Driscoll said.

School board members stressed that the search will continue, but the board would like an opportunity to meet with King before setting a timeline for hiring a new superintendent.

“Our search for the best possible candidate continues,” Donna LaRocque, vice president of school board said.

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