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LaFargeville Central’s superintendent retiring after 37 years in public education

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LAFARGEVILLE — LaFargeville Central School District’s superintendent since 2005, Susan L. Whitney, 58, is set to retire at the end of the school year, and the district’s secondary principal will succeed her.

Ms. Whitney had only kind words to share describing her eight years at LaFargeville and her successor, Travis W. Hoover.

“I love my school, my staff and my kids. And I’m leaving all of those in good hands,” she said.

The school board evidently felt the same way, unanimously agreeing that Mr. Hoover, 38, LaFargeville, was the best fit to lead the district of roughly 600 students.

Ms. Whitney started her career in public education as a music teacher 37 years ago. Before coming to LaFargeville, she was a high school principal at Rome Free Academy, a district of more than 5,000 students.

Ms. Whitney said she’s had a very fulfilling career and wanted to leave while she still loved her job.

She said that part of the reason she felt like retiring early was because of the rapid — rather than gradual — changes in the education system.

While she generally agrees with the idea of shifting toward Common Core assessments and evaluating teachers and administrators, Mrs. Whitney said, the pace of change is too fast and is “taking enjoyment out of education.”

She plans to find enjoyment elsewhere now, such as getting her boat captain license at her new winter residence in Inverness, Fla., and spending summers in the Thousand Islands at her Wellesley Island home.

Her successor, Mr. Hoover, said Monday that he is excited about his new role at LaFargeville Central.

His first day as superintendent will be July 1.

A Theresa native and 1992 graduate of Indian River Central, Mr. Hoover began his career in 1996 as a mathematics teacher at Williamsville North High School in Amherst.

Before coming to LaFargeville in 2004, he taught math at Indian River from 1997 to 2003.

“I thought I was going to be a teacher my whole career,” Mr. Hoover said, adding that his plan changed after he joined the LaFargeville district.

He said he started realizing that long-term administration is an essential step toward consistency in a school district and decided to pursue a different path.

He was appointed LaFargeville’s secondary principal in October 2006 and said, “I’d love to be here until I retire.”

Mr. Hoover earned his bachelor of science degree in mathematics education at SUNY Buffalo and master of science degree in instructional technology media management at SUNY Potsdam and completed graduate-level course work at SUNY Oswego, where he was awarded a certificate of advanced study in school building leadership.

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