SHERMAN - Sherman Central School's "principal-to-be" got a close look at the workings of the school board at its regular meeting Monday, June 3.
Mike Ginestre spent a long day reviewing district finances, contract negotiations and state education mandates with current Principal Kaine Kelly, and then attended the board's meeting as a visitor. Ginestre will officially take over Kelly's position on July 2. Kelly will become the district's new superintendent, replacing the retiring Thomas Schmidt.
"I'm extremely excited," Ginestre said. "I've met a lot of students, teacher and parents already. It's been an extremely welcoming and affirming experience."
Photo by David Prenatt
Sherman Central School’s next principal, Mike Ginestre, recently spent the day at SCS preparing for when he starts the job on July 2.
Ginestre said he has been impressed by the community and family-oriented atmosphere he has found in Sherman.
"It's kind of where I've always gone, that is, to smaller school settings," he said. "The genuine care people have for each other in this district is extremely attractive to me."
Ginestre, who lives in Jamestown, comes to Sherman from the Falconer School District where he taught social studies for five years as well as coached football and girls' basketball. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, a Master of Arts degree in secondary education from Niagara University in Lewiston and a Master of Arts in education administration from St. John Fisher.
Kelly noted Ginestre was selected from a strong field of 28 candidates who were in turn selected from 42 applicants. While there were several candidates qualified for the position, Ginestre was the "hands-down choice," Kelly said. Superintendent Schmidt agreed.
"When it got down to it, Mike was by far our first choice," Schmidt said. "We needed someone to work with the administrators, the teachers and the support staff of this district, and he fit the bill."
Ginestre said he has met many times with Kelly and is looking forward working with him.
"He puts the student's first, and that's important to me," Ginestre said.
His said his biggest challenge will be dealing with various mandates and changes initiated in education by the state.
"I'm trying to get my head around those things," Ginestre said. "Those are big changes that all districts will be facing."
Ginestre said his goal is to lead the district on a path where each student has the opportunity to succeed, both at academics and activities.
"As long as our students have the very best opportunity possible, we will look into any avenues that are best for them," he said.
In school board business, Schmidt reported the district's building project will have to be extended over another year, primarily because of the slow response of the New York State Department of Education in reviewing the project. Although the project was sent in for review on Feb. 8, it has not yet received approval from the state, he said.
"We were disappointed," Schmidt said. "We worked for a week and a half to come up with a way to get it done. We've come to the conclusion that there is only so much we can do now. It will work, but it will take us another year to do it."
Work on the approved parts of the project, such the instructional hallways, the technical shop water issue and the heating control system, will proceed this summer. Other aspects of the project, such as renovations to the science room and auditorium, will have to wait until the fall to be contracted.
"The project should be completed now in the fall of 2013," Schmidt said.
In other business, Kelly reported changes to the curriculum are being initiated. The biggest change is biology will now be taught in ninth grade instead of 10th, and earth science will be taught in 10th grade instead of ninth. This is because earth science is more difficult and requires greater reading and comprehension skill, he said.
Schmidt reported the district has interviewed almost all of its elementary teachers concerning their satisfaction with their position and "almost all of these people are where they would like to work," he said.
A re-organizational meeting is set for July 2 at 5:30 p.m., followed by the regular meeting of the board.