JAMESTOWN – Members of the Jamestown School Board have finalized and approved their selection for the district’s next school superintendent.
Newly appointed Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains, addressed the Jamestown school board and others in attendance during a special meeting on Monday night, following his appointment by the board.
“I’ve heard people talk about, some of our professors at Columbia talk about the challenge of being a superintendent. I’ve heard it described as a burden and a task. But I think Deke (Kathman) would agree with me that it is also an opportunity. And I see my coming here an opportunity for me and an opportunity for us. This is a Journey that I am glad to begin and I am glad to begin it with all of you. Thank you. [applause]”
Mains, who’s most recent position is the Director of Internal School Operations for the Rochester City School District, will take over for current Superintendent Daniel “Deke” Kathman, who announced in January he was retiring at the end of this school year.
LISTEN TO MAINS ADDRESS
School board president Joe DiMaio said there were several reasons why Mains was selected from a field of nearly 20 applicants for the position. He said the main reason was the passion he showed for education.
“He’s been in the public a little bit and he’s worked in the private sector a little bit and he has a wealth of experience and I think he’s going to bring that to this district,” DiMaio explained. “And his passion. To see the passion that Tim brought to the table, I’m sure that’s something that down the road others will see when they talk to him.”
In addition to his current position in Rochester, Mains has also served in the past as history teacher, school counselor, teacher center director, staff development director, K-12 social studies director and elementary School Principal. He currently holds three masters degrees in education and is working on his doctorate in Educational Leadership at Columbia University.
The school board was not the only group to be part of the selection process. Several committees were organized to help vet final candidates. Some members of those committees were on hand last night to comment on the appointment, including Jamestown Teachers Association President Chris Reilly.
“Following the three days of interviews, all 12 members of the faculty committee were in agreement that Tim Mains was the right choice to lead Jamestown Public Schools into the future. He responded to our questions with specific examples and well though-out answers,” Reilly said, adding, “What impressed us most, however, was the fact superintendent Mains really did his homework when it came to understanding not just the Jamestown Public Schools, but the community as a whole.”
In addition to his work at Rochester Public Schools, Mains is a member of many professional organizations and boards, including serving on the Rochester City Council from 1986 to 2005.
Following his appointment, Mains said he first applied to be a school superintendent six years ago, although he’s only applied for the position a limited number of times.
“I’ve been a superintendent candidate since 2007. I was a finalist to be the superintendent in Rochester. And that’s what got me thinking to be a superintendent. Of course Columbia thinks they’ve been training me to do that for years. But I really began in earnest of looking at where I can do that and I have been very selective about where I would apply. I want a school district that both has challenges and has assets and this district as both.”
Mains also said that he’s ready to help pull Jamestown up in terms of it’s statewide ranking, saying he’s already had experience with bringing a district into compliance with state and federal standards.
“Part of my current job is to help schools adapt to and adopt the new reform measures that the state has put out and to help them wrestle with what they need to do personally to do that. So I’ve got a leg up in terms of helping schools to do that. I bring that to this position. I hope that when I’m done – right now where a focus district – my goal is not to return us to what New York State calls a district in good standing, I want us to be a district that is outstanding.”
In addition to asking faculty staff, students and community members to assist in selecting a superintendent, the School board also tapped Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Superintendent David O’Rourke to assist with the search. DiMaio said that with all those who helped in the selection process, nearly everyone involved felt Mains was the best choice.
“It was a little scary to be honest, the fact that everybody was on the same page,” DiMaio said. “We felt we had three great candidates but when it came down to it in the end, Mr. Mains just seemed to rise above.”
The school board voted 5 to 0 in favor of appointing Mains to Superintendent. Both board members Tom Pope and Tim Thomas were absent from the meeting. The contract for Mains is for a three-year period, with a first year salary of $165,000 and which can be adjusted based on an annual performance review by the school board. Mains official first day on the job will be August 1, 2013.