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April 22, 2014


Board of Education names John Yagielski as interim superintendent

Experienced education leader plans to keep focus 'on students, on teaching, and on learning'


picture of john yagielski
Following his appointment at the April 22 meeting, Yagielski addressed the Board and members of the school community in attendance.

At its meeting on April 22, the Niskayuna Board of Education unanimously approved the appointment of John Yagielski as the district's interim superintendent, bringing Yagielski's 45 years of experience in educational leadership to the district.

Yagielski is expected to be the interim superintendent while the Board conducts a search for the next superintendent. He starts in Nisakyuna immediately.

"Every one of our board members is pleased to welcome John to Niskayuna as our interim leader," Board of Education President Deborah Oriola said. "His considerable experience, his ability to quickly become part of a school community and lead it forward, and his deep knowledge of the issues that are shaping education today all make him an ideal fit for our district at this time."

Yagielski served as superintendent of the Greece and Shenendehowa school districts, and most recently served as an interim for two years in the Schenectady City School District. He began his educational career in the business office of Greece Schools in 1969, and went on to be the chief financial officer for the Baltimore City Public Schools in the early 1980s.

Yagielski said he is looking forward to getting to know and work with members of the Niskayuna school community, including students, parents, teachers, staff, and residents.

"I come to Niskayuna with tremendous respect and admiration for the school system that this community has built and supported over time," Yagielski said. "It is known across the state for excellence and for the work that faculty and staff members do every day to make a real difference in the lives of students."

"In my time here, I plan to keep our primary focus on students, on teaching and on learning. At the same time, we need to respect and address the concerns of all members of the school community, including our taxpayers."

Yagielski and the Board of Education have agreed to focus their leadership and efforts on three key issues and goals – 1) rebuild community confidence in district leadership through active and effective listening; 2) address district finances; and 3) set the stage for attracting highly qualified candidates for the superintendency.

Yagielski's annual salary will be $175,000, with no additional costs for health benefits or pension contributions.