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Communications tops priorities in Queensbury superintendent search survey

Communications tops priorities in Queensbury superintendent search survey


QUEENSBURY — More than 1,000 members of the Queensbury community responded to a survey asking which characteristics they most want to see in their next superintendent of schools, and the results were presented at the district’s Board of Education meeting Monday night.

The search is on after current superintendent, Doug Huntley, announced his retirement, effective January 2020, last month after 12 years at the helm of Queensbury Union Free School District.

The results showed every subgroup that responded rated excellent communication skills as their top priority, a result Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES Superintendent Jim Dexter, who presented the findings, said was common.

“I have never done a search where that wasn’t No. 1 or 2,” Dexter said. “People want to hear from the district. They really appreciate an outstanding communications strategy.”

Board President Jill Borgos said she was surprised by the consistency in answers they received, including the high priority of working well with the Board of Education, across all of the stakeholder groups.

Dexter said the importance of past experience as a superintendent landed a little lower than he thought it might, but ultimately people understand there are plenty of assistant or deputy superintendents who are qualified for the step up.

Holding a doctorate degree ranked as the lowest priority with every group but students, another trend Dexter said was common, as most districts he has worked with consider it a low priority.

Borgos said she and the board will evaluate candidates’ past performances as a communicator to make sure they have the skills to work with all stakeholder groups ranging from students to parents to community members.

Dexter said the next step in the search is to use the responses to build a profile for the qualities the district is looking for. The profile will be advertised with brochures and in various journals and publications locally, regionally and nationally.

He said ads will be placed at all levels by Aug. 30 and both he and Borgos thanked all participants who helped with the process.

“The board really appreciated the thoughtful feedback, and the community taking their time to respond really highlights how important this district is and how engaged the community is in this district,” Borgos said.

Samuel Northrop is the education reporter for The Post-Star. He can be reached at


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