KINDERHOOK—The Ichabod Crane Board of Education announced this week that Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow would become the new superintendent of the district starting this summer.
At a June 23 meeting, held online on Zoom, Board President Matthew Nelson also announced that board member Regina Rose had resigned from the board. After a short discussion at the meeting, the board decided to appoint Tammy Crawford to the open seat, a one-year position. Ms. Crawford is currently finishing her first-term on the board. She ran for reelection this June but lost her seat by 11 votes. There were three open seats on the board and Ms. Crawford was the fourth highest vote-getter.
Board Vice-President John Antalek suggested the board appoint Ms. Crawford. He said the board has done that in the past. Board member Elizabeth Phillips also supported the idea of appointing Ms. Crawford, saying it would benefit the board to have someone who was not new to everything on the board.
Ms. Crawford will finish her current term in July and the board will appoint her to the open seat at the July 14 meeting.
The person with the highest votes at the June 16 school board election was Elaine Berlin, who was sworn in earlier in the week to an open seat on the board. Newly elected board members John Chandler and Kelly Firmbach will be sworn in in July.
Mr. Nelson thanked outgoing board member Susan Ramos, who joined the board in 2011. He thanked her for everything she had done on the board.
‘We’re all ready for a little stability.’
Matthew Nelson, president
Ichabod Crane school board
Mr. Nelson and Mr. Antalek also thanked current Superintendent Jason Thomson for his work in the district. Mr. Thomson started in the district in February and he is leaving the district at the end of June.
Ms. Guntlow was appointed superintendent until 2023. She started in the district as the principal at the primary school in December 2013. She moved to the central office as an administrator in 2017 and was appointed assistant superintendent in 2019.
In 2018 she was appointed assistant to the acting superintendent of schools when then Superintendent Micheal Vanyo was out of the district for medical reasons. Then she was appointed acting superintendent in the spring of 2019 when Mr. Vanyo went on leave due to a DWI arrest. He resigned in June of that year. The district hired an interim superintendent, Lee Bordick, who served from the summer of 2019 until Mr. Thomson took the position.
Board President Nelson said the board worked with the consultants they used in their search for Mr. Thomson to vet Ms. Guntlow’s references and qualifications. The board also interviewed Ms. Guntlow and the newly elected board members were brought into the process. He also said the board heard from community members.
“We heard from many, many voices,” he said of the process that started when Mr. Thomson told them in May he was leaving.
Mr. Thomson praised the choice, saying Ms. Guntlow’s appointment was “well deserved.”
“We’re all ready for a little stability,” Mr. Nelson said at the meeting. And to Ms. Guntlow, Mr. Nelson said, “Thank you for stepping up.”
Ms. Guntlow said she understood there are challenges ahead but she said the district is ready to meet them. “I’m absolutely honored,” she said.
Also at the meeting:
• The board appointed Erin Curry as the Student Representative to the board and Eric (Tismark) Boham as the alternate
• High School Principal Craig Shull updated the board on graduation plans, saying the ceremony will now be held outside on the campus. He said students will sit in one of the district’s fields, 6 feet apart and wearing masks; families will be brought in as their student receives the diploma.
Graduation will be held on Friday, June 26. He said to limit the time they will all be together there will be limited speeches. He said the event will not be live streamed but will be recorded
• Superintendent Thomson said during his report to the board, “We just don’t know yet” what school will look like in the fall but a committee is meeting to start looking that issue
• Construction on the middle school classrooms is scheduled to start in the coming weeks. Ms. Guntlow said she was told in the next two weeks walls and flooring in the classrooms in a section of the building will be taken out. This is part of a major capital improvement project in the district.
The next board meeting will be the organization meeting July 14 at 7 p.m. Mr. Nelson said he assumed the meeting would be on Zoom again and not in person. Information will be posted on the district website at www.ichabodcrane.org.