To the Editor:

In response to Gregory Peck’s May 4 letter, we, too, are disappointed that our superintendent search was disrupted by the school closure. We had hoped to bring our finalists into our schools to meet students, staff and community members, but the health risks posed by COVID-19 made that impossible.

That said, we would like to correct some inaccuracies and answer some of the questions Mr. Peck posed.

Over 500 people from a variety of sectors responded to our survey. In addition to conducting the survey, our search consultant also met with school district employees and community members at publicly posted events. We relied heavily on their answers and suggestions in our search, which we would have done regardless of COVID-19.

Additionally, in spite of the school closure, our finalists were interviewed by a panel of stakeholders that included school district employees, a parent, and a prominent community representative.

We recognize the value of perspectives outside our own, which is why these additional perspectives were so important in guiding our decisions. We do feel it bears mentioning, though, that our board is a diverse, if small, group. We have members who are parents and members who are not, members from the medical community, members from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, veteran board members and those with new, fresh perspectives.

Mr. Peck raised the possibility of an interim superintendent — this is something we considered, but because of the challenges presented by COVID-19, we feel it is doubly important that we find a committed, experienced leader to guide the district in the difficult days ahead. We believe that both of our finalists have the experience to do so.

With regards to the questions Mr. Peck raised related to the finalists themselves, we are confident that our successful candidate will quickly allay all concerns and ask only that the community allow them the opportunity to do so.

Sincerely,

JOSE CANARIO, MD

President, Board of Education

Geneva City School District

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