By Krystle S. Morey

The Granville Board of Education has narrowed to two its search for the school district’s next leader.
Thomas McGurl and Peggy O’Shea are the finalists being vetted for the job of superintendent of Granville’s three schools.
“The Board of Education is pleased to have narrowed our thorough search to two such qualified candidates,” said Audrey Hicks, board president.
McGurl is principal of grade 6-12 at the Fort Edward Union Free School District. Before that he served as the secondary principal at Berne Knox-Westerlo Central School District. With more than 15 years in education, McGurl was a 9-10 dean of students at Bethlehem Central School and a social studies teacher and coach at Minerva Central School and Bolton Central School.
He has a bachelor’s degree in history from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Castleton State College.
O’Shea is assistant superintendent in the Cohoes City School District, a position she has held since 2002, and she previously served as a principal and assistant principal in Cohoes. She began her career as a special education teacher at Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany, and at public schools in Pittsfield and Lenox, Massachusetts.
She holds master’s degrees in Educational Administration and Reading from the State University of New York at Albany, and a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from the College of St. Rose in Albany. O’Shea earned her school district administrator certification at SUNY Albany.
Community members will be able to meet the candidates at a series of special presentations this week. As part of the hiring process, both McGurl and O’Shea will present their entrance plans to the public.
O’Shea will present on Thursday, April 6, from 5-6 p.m. and McGurl will present on Friday, April 7, from 5-6 p.m.
The presentations will be held in the High School Auditorium and all community members, parents, students and staff are invited to attend.
After that the board will conduct final interviews and make a hiring decision by July 1.
Salary range for a position is $130,000-150,000. Nine candidates applied for the job.
The search for a new superintendent was prompted by the retirement of Mark Bessen last fall. The board has been working with WSWHE BOCES to in that search. Mark Doody was hired in January to serve as interim superintendent.
According to WSWHE BOCES District Superintendent James Dexter: “The Granville Board of Education is confident in their decision in moving forward with the two candidates,” said James Dexter, district superintendent of WSWHE BOCES.
Said Dexter: “The process included an online survey, open to all constituents of the district, seeking desired qualities and experience the next superintendent should possess. Using this information the board conducted interviews and received feedback on both individuals from two advisory committees.
“I was pleased with the professional and rigorous process that the board put in place. Lastly, the board and I are appreciative of the 22 individuals from across the community who participated in the advisory committees. Both committees conducted their assigned tasks in a professional and thoughtful manner.”
Hicks said the board was grated for the guidance provided by Dexter and assistant superintendent Tony Muller “who have enabled us to incorporate input from all stakeholders throughout this process.”
“We are confident that the future of the educational leadership in Granville will be in good hands with either candidate at the helm,” she said.

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