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LP school board swears in new superintendent, board members

July 14, 2010

     LAKE PLACID — The school board elected a new slate of officers at its Wednesday night meeting.

    Former board Vice President Phil Baumbach was elected to the position of president, Janet Smith was elected to fill his seat as vice president and Jill Cardinale Segger was elected secretary.

    Baumbach said the board needs to fill the vacancy on the school board opened up when Pat Grant recently resigned by Aug. 20.

    The board has advertised for the position, and four people have submitted letters of interest, Baumbach said. The board plans to interview the candidates July 14 and 15 and then make a decision.

    The meeting was Randy Richards’ first as the district’s new superintendent. He began July 1, and said that since then, he’s been meeting with district officials, preparing for the school board meeting, and getting ready for a leadership conference that will be held in Lake Placid and deal with the themes of using technologies like iPods in education.

    “The first few days have been kind of hectic,” Richards said.

    Richards also spoke to how he plans to hire a replacement for Jessica Craft, chair of Committee for Special Education, who resigned because she is leaving the area.

    “That’s a key position,” Richards said.    

    He plans to look for a candidate within the district and said he feels confident he will be able to do so. He said he tends to involve a lot of people — teachers, administrators, people from the special education department — in the hiring process.

    Richards said he’d like to hire a candidate by the end of July so the person will have a month to transition.

    Herbert Stoer, who failed in his May bid for a seat on the board, questioned why former Principal David Messner’s salary was so high.

    Messner was making $116,000 a year when he accepted an early retirement incentive in May, and he was replaced by his assistant principal, Katherin Mulderig, who was given a salary of $85,000.

    Mulderig, who was at the meeting, noted that she was offered a raise but refused it.

    “This job isn’t about money for me,” Mulderig said. “It’s about the students.”

    Stoer requested that the board make public the salaries of anyone in the district who makes more than $75,000 a year, and Richards said he would help Stoer make a formal request.

    The salaries of all public school employees can be found through a search on the website

    The district’s next regular board meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 28, after a focus session which will begin at 4 p.m.



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