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Keene Superintendent set to retire

Keene Central School Superintendent Cynthia Ford-Johnston and school board president James Marlatt.

Keene Central School Superintendent Cynthia Ford-Johnston and school board president James Marlatt. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— After 16 years of service as Superintendent for Keene Central School, Cynthia Ford-Johnston will retire.

Johnston, who began her career in Art Education 31 years ago, said she is ready to spend more time focusing on her artwork and family farm in Westport.

“I feel it’s a good time for both me and the school district to do this,” Johnston said. “I have other interests I would like to pursue and this job may be getting too big for one person.”

Johnston has been the Superintendent, Principal and Business Manager at Keene Central School since 1996.

She received a Masters degree in Educational Administration from SUNY Plattsburgh, a Bachelors degree in Art Education from SUNY New Paltz and attended the Lake Placid School of Art.

During the course of her career, Johnston has held administrative and teaching positions at Fonda-Fultonville, Northern Adirondack, Schroon Lake, Crown Point, and Carthage.

Along with her husband, Dave, Johnston said she plans on throwing herself into work on their farm in Westport. DaCy Meadow Farm, a combination of their first names, focuses on farm to table living and ‘Localvore movement’ of eating locally.

Members of the Keene Central School Board accepted Johnston’s retirement letter at its March 20 meeting.

Johnston will continue to serve as the superintendent part time and she hopes by the beginning of the upcoming school year the board will find a replacement.

“I will continue to serve part time, maybe two to three days a week while the new person adjusts,” Johnston said.

The school board is currently seeking several options, including a principal that could take on the responsibility of Superintendent after their first year. The district could also look for a Superintendent who can work part time, such as the Westport’s Dr. John Gallagher.

Johnston said another option the school board has discussed is sharing a superintendent with another district.

Though her full time experience serving the school will be coming to a close soon, Johnston said she wanted to thank the community, the faculty members and the students for contributing to her experience at Keene Central School.

“It’s been a wonderful experience with such a supportive professional community and my experience here has been extremely rewarding,” Johnston said.

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