Public Forum with Superintendent Candidates - Monday 4/2/18
Finalists Announced for Homer Superintendent of Schools
The Homer Central School District Board of Education is pleased to announce that three finalists have been selected in the search for a new Superintendent of Schools. Please join us for a public forum at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 2, in the Homer High School auditorium. At the forum, each finalist will give a presentation about their background, qualifications and vision for the district. The first candidate will present at 6 p.m.; the second candidate will present at 6:30 p.m.; and the third candidate will present at 7 p.m. After the presentations, those in attendance will have the opportunity to offer feedback to the district on each candidate. We hope you can make it! After this forum, the Homer Board of Education is hoping to appoint a new superintendent by July 1.
The finalists are:
Shawn Bissetta is currently serving his fourth year as superintendent of the Oxford Academy and Central School District in Chenango County, southwest of Norwich. He previously served as superintendent of the Mount Markham Central School District in Herkimer County, south of Utica, a position he began in 2013. Prior to becoming a superintendent, Shawn worked as a high school principal in the Port Byron Central School District in Cayuga County for 11 years. (He served as the 9-12 principal from 2002-2008 and the 7-12 principal from 2008-2013.) In addition to his duties as secondary principal, he also served as the district’s K-12 curriculum coordinator and staff development director. Prior to this experience, Shawn worked as the assistant middle school principal in the Phoenix Central School District. He holds School District Administrator (SDA) certification and a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) from SUNY Cortland. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in social studies education from Syracuse University. Shawn says that, despite his success in achieving progressive student programming and community engagement in Oxford, where the Board of Education has already offered him two contract extensions, he is interested in finding “a long-term home in a district closer to my family and my professional roots.” He says Homer “is not only a perfect match for my professional skills and abilities, it is also an ideal location for personal/family considerations.”
John Durkee launched his 25-year educational career in the Homer Central School District, where he first worked as a social studies teacher in the Homer Junior/Senior High School from 1989 to 2001. He currently serves as the principal of Marcellus Senior High School, west of Syracuse, a position he has held since 2004. Prior to that, he worked from 2001-2004 as the associate principal of Cazenovia High School and one year as the summer school principal at Tompkins-Cortland Community College. In 2012, he completed the Superintendent Development Program at SUNY Oswego, but he also credits Marcellus Superintendent Michelle Brantner and his former superintendent, Dr. Craig Tice, for giving him quality mentoring experiences as a potential superintendent. He holds School District Administrator (SDA) certification and a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) from SUNY Cortland. He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies education from SUNY Geneseo and a master’s degree in secondary social studies education from SUNY Cortland. He proudly credits Homer schools for his career achievements. “I firmly believe that my success is related to the fact that I am a proud ‘Homer Boy,’ born and raised,” he says, adding that teachers, administrators, coaches and employees in Homer “demonstrated an unwavering belief in me as a learner and individual, which ultimately inspired me to become a teacher and educational leader.” He says he felt compelled to apply for the superintendent’s position so he can “now give back and serve the district that invested so much in me.”
Thomas Turck currently serves as principal of Homer Junior High School, where he has worked for the past 12 years. He has dedicated nearly 20 years of his educational career to Homer students, starting in the district as principal of Homer Intermediate School and Homer Junior High in 1999 and staying through February 2006. He worked briefly as superintendent of schools in the Southern Cayuga Central School District, then returned to Homer in August of 2006 to serve as the principal of Homer Junior High School. Prior to his work in Homer, he also served as vice principal of St. Therese Academy in San Diego from 1997-1999 and as an elementary teacher at Morgan Road Elementary School in Liverpool, outside Syracuse, from 1994-1997. His educational experience includes completion of the Superintendent Development Program in 2004 from SUNY Oswego; a master’s degree in educational administration from National University in San Diego; New York qualification in elementary education in 1993 from SUNY Cortland; and a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from SUNY Geneseo. Tom says he has a “deep desire to serve this vibrant school community as Superintendent of Schools, working with the Board of Education to create a climate of innovation that nurtures the social, emotional and academic growth of children.” He also offers a long list of accomplishments in the Homer district in the areas of communication, finance, curriculum and administration. “As a recognized community and educational leader, I will continue to cultivate and build positive, collaborative relationships on behalf of the district,” he says. “I will apply my marketing, public speaking, and negotiating talents to passionately advocate for kids.”