DRYDEN — Josh Bacigalupi, principal of a Cortland elementary school, will give Dryden interim Superintendent William Locke a break soon, as he was named superintendent of the Dryden Central School District at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.
Bacigalupi was selected without dissent — Bill Harding and Sophia Georgiakaki were absent — over Ithaca City School District academic chief Elizabeth “Liddy” Coyle.
Locke has held the post since former Superintendent Sandy Sherwood left last September to become superintendent of the Herkimer Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
Bacigalupi will start July 1. The salary is $145,000.
Bacigalupi, principal of Parker Elementary School, will go from overseeing 238 children to leading the 1,600-student Dryden district.
Bacigalupi has been principal at Parker for two years. Before that, he was an assistant principal, then principal, at Dryden Elementary School.
Parker Elementary School is one of two schools the Cortland district is considering closing to save money, though Bacigalupi has said that did not play a role in his decision to seek the superintendent post.
Board President Margie Malepe said this morning in a text message that both finalists were very qualified professionals and the process of hiring included feedback from the community.
“We selected Josh based on his skillset and experience,” she said.
Bacigalupi has said his experience at Parker positions him well to lead the Dryden district as both Parker and Dryden elementary schools were designated focus schools by the state, in need of improvement, so he’s familiar with the process.
Bacigalupi said his role is to make sure the school improves and to be communicative and accountable.
Jeffrey Matteson, superintendent of the Tioga-Seneca- Tompkins Board of Cooperative Educational Services, screened 17 applicants to bring six to the Board of Education for interviews, which trimmed the list to two.
Locke said board members made the conscious decision to finish out last school year concentrating on the academics, before turning their attention to searching for someone after the first of this year.
By seeking applicants for the spring hiring, the district gets more candidates and could take its time collecting feedback from community members on what kind of superintendent they wanted, which it did through online surveys it reviewed last November. The public revealed at the time, it wanted a communicative and visionary leader.
Bacigalupi is from the Washington, D.C., metro area. He previously taught kindergarten and second grade at Barry Elementary School in Cortland and before that he taught second and third grade at Fairfax County public schools. He also taught for two years at an American school in Bogota, Colombia.
Bacigalupi lives in Cortland and enjoys jogging, reading and spending time with his 6-year-old, first-grade son.