By Krystle S. Morey

More than three weeks after announcing that a new superintendent had been hired to lead the Granville Central School District, the Board of Education is still negotiating a contract with its chosen candidate, whom the board still won’t identify by name.
The board members declined to confirm the new superintendent’s identity until a contract was solidified, but the Sentinel has learned that the choice is Thomas McGurl, principal at Fort Edward Union Free School.
Reached by the Sentinel, McGurl declined to confirm or deny his selection.
James Dexter, superintendent of the Washington Saratoga Hamilton Warren Essex Board of Cooperative Educational Services, said previously that contract details were being discussed by the board, the school lawyer and the candidate’s lawyer.
“I really don’t have any information or updates,” Dexter said.
Board president Audrey Hicks confirmed that the board’s choice was unanimous after its April meeting, where several board members referred to the new superintendent as “he.” The finalists were McGurl and Peggy O’Shea, assistant superintendent of the Cohoes City School District. O’Shea did not return a call for comment.
The school board held a special meeting Monday evening with one agenda item – to discuss the “employment of a particular person/s.” The board moved to executive session behind closed doors immediately after the meeting began.
The session lasted about 40 minutes, part of which was spent on a conference call. The Sentinel could not confirm with whom the call was made, or whether it involved the superintendent hiring.
Once the board emerged from executive session, there was a unanimous motion to adjourn the meeting.
The school board has spent several months, since Mark Bessen resigned last year, searching for a new school leader. It has screened applications and vetted and interviewed several candidates with Dexter’s help.
The board hired Mark Doody in January to serve as interim superintendent and hopes to have a new leader start on or before July 1.
The salary range for a new Granville superintendent is $130,000-150,000, depending on experience.
Doody and Hicks did not return calls for comment.

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