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Six Administrators Leaving Geneva School District

GENEVA (Wednesday, June 30) – Six administrators representing many years of experience are leaving the Geneva City School District.Retiring or leaving for new positions are Dr. Paul Darnall, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction; Lauren Poehlman, assistant superintendent for business services; Jane Gerling, Head Start director; Mike Simon, Human Resources director;Karen Simon, assistant principal at Geneva High School; and John Arthur, assistant principal at Geneva Middle School.Dr. Darnall, of Canandaigua, who has worked in education for 37½ years, will work through July to help in the transition to a new assistant superintendent. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Young praised Darnall as a “champion for continuous improvement by students” and lauded him for his organization development and staff development work and for bringing in millions of dollars in grants to the school district.Young said he hopes to have Darnall’s replacement hired by August.Poehlman, who came to the Geneva district in 2005, will take a similar assistant business superintendent position in the Vestal School District in the Southern Tier. Young said her career move to a larger district compares to a promotion.Larry Driscoll, a veteran school business administrator in the area, will take over for Poehlman on an interim basis. He is currently finishing an interim position in the Gananda school district.Gerling began with the Head Start program as a teacher in 1980 and retired as director. Young noted she was the “Mama Bear” of Head Start and was “fiercely proud” of Head Start children. “She is well respected by her peers, revered in the community and did a great job for the district,” Young said.Young said interviews for Gerling’s replacement would start soon.Mike Simon and his wife, Karen, who are both retiring, represented many years of community and institutional knowledge. Young said when he came to Geneva they were “tremendously helpful to me in responding to the needs of the students and the community.”Interviews for Karen Simon’s position will begin soon, Young said. Mike Simon’s position is being eliminated in a reorganization of the Central Office. The duties of Human Resources director will be assigned to another administrator in the district.Arthur, the Middle School assistant principal, is moving to a similar position in Canandaigua, where he lives. Arthur is a Geneva native and a former sixth grade teacher here. Young said Arthur made a “difficult decision” to be closer to his family.Young explained the district’s hiring process as follows: Administrative positions can be filled through reassignments. In cases where there are not reassignments, teachers, parents, support staff and administrators interview applicants and recommend three candidates to the superintendent. The superintendent then interviews the candidates with other Central Office administrators and checks references. The third and last step is when the superintendent recommends a finalist to the Board of Education and then board members talk with the candidate prior to his or her appointment.

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