Thomas M. Turck Announced as New Superintendent of Homer Schools
It is with great pride and excitement that the Homer Central School District is announcing the selection of Thomas M. Turck, the current principal of Homer Junior High School, as the new superintendent of schools. After a rigorous five-month search process, the Homer Board of Education approved Mr. Turck at the May 8th meeting because of his educational experience, his vision for the district, and his commitment to our students, staff and community. He will begin his duties as superintendent on July 1, 2018.
“Mr. Turck stood out among a highly-qualified field of candidates because of his passion for our district and his proven track record in making effective, student-focused decisions,” Homer Board of Education President Sonia Apker said. “We truly believe that Mr. Turck has the right blend of leadership skills and experience to keep our district moving forward.”
Turck 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.
During the selection process, Turck said he had 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 offered 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 said. “I will apply my marketing, public speaking, and negotiating talents to passionately advocate for kids.”
Turck will succeed current Superintendent Nancy Ruscio, who will retire this year after more than seven years of valued service to the district. Ruscio said she will work with Turck before her departure in July to help ensure a smooth leadership transition.
The Homer Board of Education launched a rigorous, nationwide search for a new superintendent in November with assistance from Dr. Jody Manning, district superintendent and CEO of the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES. In addition to extensive job postings and a highlight video of the district, the search included a community survey that helped the Board of Education establish priorities for the desired qualities in a suitable candidate. The search also included interviews and meetings among district stakeholders with the final three candidates: Turck; Shawn D. Bissetta, superintendent of the Oxford Academy and Central School District in Chenango County; and John R. Durkee, who currently serves as principal of Marcellus Senior High School. Finally, a community forum was held April 2 that allowed members of the public to hear presentations from the three finalists and provide valuable input to the Board of Education before its final decision.
Members of the Board of Education would like to thank everyone in the district and in the Homer community who offered their time and input into this important decision. In the months ahead, please join us in supporting Mr. Turck as we, as a community, start this new chapter for Homer schools.