HFM BOCES welcomed faculty and staff for the start of the 2018-19 school year during its annual Opening Day Celebration Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Board of Education President Joanne Freeman opened the event by welcoming Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent Anita Murphy, who was appointed HFM’s interim district superintendent earlier this summer following the retirement of Dr. Patrick Michel. By law, when a district superintendent vacancy occurs in a BOCES, the state appoints a sitting district superintendent from a contiguous BOCES to serve as the interim until a permanent replacement is appointed.
Murphy spoke to the staff about the prime focus of BOCES – children.
“What you do everyday matters a lot. It matters to the children in this region more than I think, at times, we ever know,” Murphy said.
Speaking to the importance of public education, Murphy reminded HFM employees that every single day, students need and expect the support of teachers and staff. As the interim district superintendent, Murphy said, she and all the central office staff are there to support the important work being done on the behalf of students.
Murphy said she should would be in place as the interim district superintendent until a state-required study of HFM BOCES and a subsequent search for a new district superintendent is completed. According to state Education Law, when a BOCES district superintendent retires, a study of that BOCES must be conducted before the state can approve a search for a new district superintendent. If the state decides during that process not to make any changes to the BOCES, then a search for a new superintendent would be authorized.
Murphy and Freeman said the board is already preparing itself for a search in anticipation of the study’s completion.
Once the search gets underway, Freeman said, the board will want to hear input from all BOCES stakeholders including staff, students, component board members, business partners and others.
“We are a family, and all members of the family should have some say in where we go from here,” Freeman said.
The opening day agenda also included time for several state-required trainings, staff meetings and the introduction of more than 50 new employees across several divisions.
Students will begin returning to classes Wednesday, Sept. 5.