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Hornung in line to become new Nightengale Elementary School principal

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MASSENA — A former administrator at St. Lawrence Central Elementary School is in line to become the next principal at Nightengale Elementary School in Massena, as the district now embarks on a new search for a principal for J.W. Leary Junior High School.

Massena Central School Board of Education members will be asked tonight to appoint Amy Hornung as the new Nightengale principal. Her appointment would be at a pro-rated salary of $72,000 and would be effective Dec. 2.

She had served as interim principal at St. Lawrence Central Elementary School during the 2012-13 school year. Johnathan R. Hirschey, a former Nightengale Elementary teacher, took over as elementary principal at St. Lawrence Central Elementary this year.

William Flynn, who retired as superintendent of the Ogdensburg City School District on June 30, 2006, has been acting as interim principal at Nightengale Elementary following the departure of Shannon Jordan, who accepted a position with the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services. The district’s school board had accepted her resignation, effective Oct. 13, during their September meeting.

The district had advertised for a full-time principal and the closing date for applications was Oct. 18. Interim Superintendent William W. Crist told board members during their October meeting that he expected to have a candidate for board approval during the November meeting. Their plan, he said, was to have a permanent principal in place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

During tonight’s meeting, board members also will be asked to approve the resignation of J.W. Leary Junior High School Principal Jesse C. Coburn, effective Dec. 6.

Mr. Coburn has been with the district since Sept. 24, 2007, first serving as assistant high school principal before he was appointed in August 2008 to take over as interim junior high principal. He replaced Roger B. Clough II as junior high principal following Mr. Clough’s appointment as interim superintendent. Mr. Coburn recently accepted a principal’s position with the Heuvelton Central School District.

“It’s an opportunity for him. He started his teaching career in Heuvelton. It’s kind of a homecoming of sorts for him. Susan Todd, the superintendent, is looking forward to him beginning,” Mr. Crist said.

Mr. Crist said the district already has advertised the vacancy and posted the position internally.

“It’s similar to the kind of search we did with the Nightengale process,” he said.

Applications for the junior high vacancy are due Nov. 22, and Mr. Crist said an interim principal likely will be needed until a new person is hired.

“We’ll probably get an interim for a period if I can find somebody who can take over. That was the beauty of finding Bill Flynn. It was kind of a seamless transition to move into a positive direction,” he said. “I may go over for a while. I’ve spent a good part of my career as a middle school teacher and administrator.”

Mr. Crist said he hopes to fill the junior high position by mid- to late-January “once the process plays itself through. If a candidate is selected internally, it’s an easier transition and we can do it sooner.”

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