Talk of the Town: A conversation with Randy Squier

OXFORD – On Tuesday, June 14, Oxford Academy and Central School Superintendent Randy Squier spent an hour at Hoppie’s Ice Cream Parlor in Oxford. During that time, he spoke at length with Evening Sun Reporter Melissa Stagnaro about topics related to the school system, including his impending departure from the district; the strides Oxford has made in terms of technology and professional development; and the June 23 capital project vote.

Leaving Oxford

Squier confirmed that, while he has yet to tender his resignation, he has given the Oxford School Board notice of his intention to accept a position with another district. Where is he going? Coxsackie-Athens Central School in Greene County. With just under 1,600 students, Squier said the district is slightly larger than Sherburne-Earlville in size. It operates on an annual budget of roughly $25 million.

Oxford, in comparison, serves approximately 850 students on an annual budget of $16.9 million.

“It’s bittersweet,” Squier said, explaining that while he’s excited about the new opportunity, he, his wife Maureen and their three children will be leaving behind good friends.

One of the things he says he will miss is his role as primary school principal, a duty he took on last fall because of budget cuts.

“It was a lot harder to leave because I was principal,” he said.

He also complimented the building’s staff, saying they work well together and are committed to putting kids first.

The transition

Squier said he is planning for a mid-August transition. The school board will need to use the time between now and then to begin search for his replacement.

“The first step will be to work with the BOCES district superintendent to get an interim superintendent,” the administrator explained.

From there, the board will need to decide what they want the administrative structure to look like (i.e. will they continue to combine the duties of superintendent and primary school principal), define what they are looking for in a chief school officer, determine who be involved with the search process and establish a timeline.

“This is the biggest decision a school board makes,” he said. “I think our board realizes that.”

District achievements

Squier is proud of what the district has accomplished during his leadership.

“I think we’re headed in the right direction,” he said. According to the superintendent, the district is already ahead of the curve on “90 percent” of the changes being instituted by New York as part of the State Education Department’s reform agenda. That includes the using benchmarking data in “constructive, positive ways” to inform decisions and instruction.

“We’re having the right conversations as professionals,” he said.

He pointed to the district’s commitment to “holding strong with the UPK program” despite budget challenges as another success.

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