Superintendent Search

Superintendent Search update: Feb. 13

The search for the next leader of Monticello is entering its next phase – interviews. The Western New York Educational Service Council (WNYESC), hired by the district to conduct the search, received 17 applications in response to its posting. The WNYESC then used the criteria established through Board of Education insight and community feedback to narrow the pool of candidates. Ultimately, four of the 17 candidates have been chosen to move forward to the next step in this process.

“This posting was distributed nationally, and we were pleased to see an increase in the number of educational leaders who are interested in joining us at Monticello,” Board President Lori Orestano-James said.  “I think that speaks to the thoroughness of WNYESC search process as well as the diverse educational opportunities available at our district.”  

The Board of Education and a group of stakeholders, including two students, have met individually with representatives of WNYESC to prepare for the interview process. In late February, the Board and the stakeholder committee will interview these four candidates individually to determine who will move forward to the second round of interviews. The second round of interviews will begin in mid-March and the Board expects to announce the next superintendent in mid-April, with the successful candidate starting July 1 or sooner.

“Once again I want to extend my thanks to all of the residents and stakeholders who shared their invaluable feedback with the WNYESC,” Ms. Orestano-James said. “The Board is committed to a thoughtful and diligent selection process to bring our community an experienced, skilled and effective leader who will help shape the future of Monticello.”

Superintendent Search brochure 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the online survey and in a focus group. The Board is very appreciative of all the input that was gathered from stakeholders.  

A brochure outlining the vacancy can be found here 

You can also cut and paste the address below in your browser:

A message from MCSD Board of Education President, Lori Orestano-James: 

November 23, 2019: 

One of the few explicit responsibilities of a school board is the hiring and evaluation of a superintendent. We take that responsibility very seriously.

In early fall, the District issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), seeking responses from individuals or firms interested in assisting with our search efforts. The Board met with respondents to the RFP in October, and subsequently moved to hire the Western New York Educational Service Council (WNYESC), located at the University of Buffalo, to assist us in our search efforts at a special meeting on November 4, 2019.  

That evening, the Board met with WNYESC’s consultants, Drs. Thomas Ramming and Teresa Lawrence, to map out the superintendent search timeline and process. I am pleased to provide the community with this update.

The Board feels it is critical to obtain community input about the desired characteristics of the next superintendent and the challenges and opportunities that they will encounter.

To that end, an online survey will be posted here on the District’s Superintendent Search Webpage from November 18 through December 6. During that time period, we strongly encourage everyone from all stakeholder groups to respond and provide their input. The survey will be available in English and Spanish, with other languages available upon request. We encourage everyone to fill out a survey once. 

In addition, the consultants will meet with stakeholder focus groups on Monday, November 25. More information about those meetings will be shared here shortly. 

The Board has carefully weighed the option of conducting an open versus a closed search. With an open search, the finalists are typically interviewed by a committee comprised of representatives from the community, parents, students and staff. In a closed search, the Board seeks stakeholder input with regard to the characteristics and qualifications for the next superintendent of schools and then works to ensure the confidentiality of the candidates while taking into account the input received from the stakeholders. 

The Board wants to ensure that the search draws a very strong field of successful candidates and understands that confidentiality is critically important for highly successful candidates who do not want to jeopardize their current positions. Therefore, after thoughtfully and carefully deliberating the issue, the Board modified the closed search option which will still allow the ultimate goal of the search to be achieved and unanimously decided to conduct a closed search.  

As such, it is imperative that community members and stakeholders respond to the survey. Stakeholders should speak with their representatives, who will be meeting with the consultants on November 25. A list of representative groups will be available online shortly. We welcome everyone to the open session in the evening on this same day and encourage everyone to complete the online survey by December 6. 

Our goal is to appoint a new superintendent in March of 2020, with a start date on or before July 1, 2020.

Thank you for your input and interest in this process. Please continue to check back on this webpage for ongoing updates.

If I can answer any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email ( or call 845 794-7700 ext. 70523 and leave a message with the District Clerk. 
With Monti Pride, 
Lori Orestano-James 
President, MCSD Board of Education 
Class of 1981