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Clifton-Fine is at stalemate with superintendent candidate

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STAR LAKE — The Clifton-Fine Central School Board has failed to reach an agreement with its first choice for superintendent — interim Superintendent Susan O. Shene — and its second choice for superintendent, interim Principal Brian S. Buchanan, does not want the job.

According to Mrs. Shene, the board came out of the executive session of a special meeting Thursday to announce it was beginning a superintendent’s search because negotiations with Mrs. Shene had reached a stalemate and Mr. Buchanan was not interested in becoming superintendent.

Mrs. Shene was reluctant to discuss the negotiations other than to say the impasse did not involve money.

“I’m hopeful we can resume negotiations,” she said.

Board President Michelle L. Durham was not available for comment.

Mrs. Shene took a leave of absence as Clifton-Fine principal to become interim superintendent in June. She replaced Denise L. Dzikowski, who left to become superintendent at Lyons Central School.

Mrs. Dzikowski’s tenure was marked by internal strife on the board.

Mr. Buchanan, who grew up in Potsdam, has been assistant principal in the Fulton City School District and was elementary principal in the Oneida School District, among other positions in education.

He was named interim principal at Clifton-Fine when Mrs. Shene became the interim superintendent.

She will return as principal if she does not become superintendent.

“We want to maintain the administrative team we have,” Mrs. Shene said. “It is what is best for Clifton-Fine.”

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