The Newark Board of Education has identified a finalist by acclaim as Matthew Cook for the job of Superintendent of Schools to replace Henry Hann who is retiring June 30.
Cook, of Lyons, who currently is Director of Human Resources for the Wayne Central School District, was selected after he and three other finalists each came to NCSD recently and met with groups of students, staff and community groups during the day before having dinner with the Board members.
The four finalists were selected by the Board of Education after it interviewed eight candidates April 27. Those eight candidates were selected from a field of 34 applicants provided to the Board by The Warner Center for Professional Development and Education Reform, an affiliate of the Warner School of Education of the University of Rochester.
The Warner team, retained in February to assist in the superintendent search, sought candidates based on input it received in March from Board members, students, staff, parents and community members about what experience and personal qualities they would most like to see in the next Superintendent of Schools.
Cook was selected as the sole finalist by the Board on May 23 after considering its discussions with each finalist and input it received from members of the various groups who recently met individually with each of the finalists.
“The Board is confident it has selected an outstanding finalist for the superintendent’s position. We feel Matt Cook is uniquely qualified for the job and is someone who will continue to move our district forward,” Board of Education President Yvonne Mac Taggart said.
Cook, who has served as Director of Human Resources at the Wayne Central School District since last May, worked as Director of Educational Services and Director of Special Programs from July 2007 until May 2012 in Lyons Central School District.
From 2/2006 until 6/2007, he served as an administrative intern in Lyons. In that capacity he worked with the Lyons Elementary Principal in an Assistant Principal role and was the summer school principal in 2006, in addition to working with the Director of Special Programs.
Cook completed the Superintendent Development Program at SUNY Oswego; received his certificate in advanced study degree at the University of Rochester; his master’s degree in social work at Syracuse University; and his bachelor’s degree in psychology at SUNY Geneseo.
Once contract negotiations with Cook are completed, the Board will vote on his contract.
“We are so grateful to everyone who participated in recent months in this very important process and provided input,”
MacTaggart said. “I can assure you it weighed very heavily into our decision to pick Matthew Cook as the sole finalist for the Superintendent’s job.”