School board selects Kathleen Carney as new superintendent

Kathleen Carney

The Herkimer Central School District Board of Education reached an official agreement today, Tuesday, May 10, with Kathleen Carney to make her the district’s next superintendent of schools.

Carney will step into the Herkimer superintendent position on Friday, July 1, the official start of the 2022-23 school year.

Carney said she was impressed during the interview process by the passion shown by the Herkimer school community and could tell that the stakeholder groups wanted to ensure the next superintendent understood the importance of relationships and had a vested interest in the success of students.

“This passion is commendable and makes me excited to assimilate back into the school community,” Carney said. “I am a lifelong resident of Herkimer and feel that my knowledge of the district, village and people will help me make the best possible decisions for our students. There is something to be said about a smaller school and the sense of family that is felt when you enter the school. I am ready to give back to the community that has given me and my family so much.”

After reviewing all of the feedback on the superintendent finalists from stakeholder meetings and a virtual community forum, the five Herkimer Board of Education members who participated in the hiring process decided unanimously on Thursday, April 28, to select Carney as the next superintendent. Contract negotiations were initiated, and an agreement was reached today, Tuesday, May 10.

The Herkimer Board of Education will vote on Wednesday, May 18, to formally appoint Carney to the position.

“We are very excited to have Mrs. Carney as the new superintendent of schools,” Herkimer Board of Education President Brian Crandall said. “She brings to the district a wealth of education background.”

Carney was an elementary teacher and elementary principal at Herkimer for 20-plus years. She left the school to become an elementary principal at New Hartford Central School District for four years and then most recently, has been the director of curriculum and instruction at Central Valley Central School District since 2018.

In addition to her career experience, her education background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood/childhood education from SUNY Oneonta, a Master of Arts degree in reading K-12 from SUNY Cortland and a certificate of advanced study in school district administration from SUNY Cortland – along with other professional certifications and credentials.

“With Mrs. Carney’s knowledge of the concerns that a smaller rural district faces daily and with her extensive curriculum and district office background, the board felt that she rose to the top of the candidate pool,” Crandall said. “We look forward to working with her in the upcoming school year.”

The Herkimer Board of Education selected Carney after a comprehensive search and interview process guided by Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES District Superintendent Sandra Sherwood and influenced by input from community and stakeholder groups.

“We were very pleased with the deep pool of candidates,” Crandall said.

The process involved three online community surveys, multiple rounds of interviews, meetings with various stakeholder groups and a virtual community forum.

Along with the interviews, all of the community feedback was helpful as the board chose Carney as the next superintendent, Crandall said.

Carney is excited about taking on the superintendent responsibilities and working on her top priorities – such as reviewing the staffing needs and starting to fill any vacant positions, including finding a business manager, she said.

“I am looking forward to meeting the school community and beginning my time as the superintendent,” Carney said. “The first year, I will carefully assess the existing systems; meet with the various groups within the school and community to gather insight; learn the procedures, policies and practices with the Board of Education, and communicate effectively the short- and long-term goals for the district.”

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