OSSINING, N.Y. – Raymond Sanchez knows he will have some big shoes to fill when Ossining’s Superintendent of Schools Phyllis Glassman officially retires in January.
The Ossining Board of Education announced plans Wednesday evening to appoint Sanchez, the district’s deputy superintendent, to interim superintendent following Glassman’s planned retirement in mid-January 2013. Sanchez said he does not currently have plans to apply for the permanent superintendent position.
“I’m excited the board has trust in me to provide the leadership as they begin their search,” Sanchez said Thursday. “My goal really is just to keep the district going in a positive direction and leave it in a better place for whomever that might be.”
Like many others in the district, Sanchez said he was surprised earlier this month to learn of Glassman’s planned retirement.
“It’s really a big loss of leadership to our district,” he said. “She wears her ‘Children First’ pin everywhere she goes and I think it’s really symbolic of who she is and the philosophy she’s brought to this district. You don’t replace a Phyllis Glassman.”
But that’s exactly the task the Board of Education has in front of itself and Board President Bill Kress said he believes appointing Sanchez is a good first step.
“With confidence, the Board of Education has determined that Mr. Raymond Sanchez demonstrates the leadership, expertise and commitment to ensure continuity in the many District initiatives and goals upon the retirement of our current Superintendent of Schools until such time as the Board appoints a successor,” Kress said Thursday in an emailed announcement. “As a leader in the Ossining School District, he demonstrates his commitment to serve all students of the District on a daily basis.”
Kress also wrote that the board plans to conduct a national search to find a new superintendent, possibly with the help of a search firm.
“During the upcoming months of transition, please know that the Board of Education has ultimate confidence in continuing our progress toward excellence and equity on behalf of our students,” Kress wrote.
Sanchez said there have been no plans to appoint an interim deputy superintendent at this point, but he expects that to be one of the board’s goals before January.
“We haven’t had those discussions just yet. There are obviously more things that need to be discussed and that is one of them,” he said. “Right now my focus is really on the period of time that I’ve been asked to be the interim. I haven’t made a final decision (on becoming the permanent superintendent), but I know I just really want what is best for the district.”