FORESTVILLE - The Forestville Central School Board of Education said farewell to Superintendent John O'Connor and welcomed Charles Leichner into the role on Thursday evening.
O'Connor's resignation was accepted with regret by the board, and is effective Oct. 7 after eight years of service in the position. O'Connor has accepted an appointment with Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES as assistant superintendent for management services.
In a statement, board of education President Sylvester Cleary said, "When it became apparent to us that Mr. O'Connor would be leaving, the board of education met to discuss the best approach to filling the vacancy. It was decided that we would contact Dr. David O'Rourke, BOCES district superintendent." Cleary explained the BOCES superintendent provides services including consultation in recruiting, screening and evaluating candidates for the position of school superintendent.
OBSERVER Photo by Shirley Pulawski
Middle/High School Principal Charles Leichner (left) will take on the role of superintendent as of Oct. 8.
O'Rourke led the search and interview process, and guided the board through a series of steps to determine goals and objectives in selecting a candidate. After thorough review of Leichner's candidacy followed and follow-up with O'Rourke, the board decided Leichner, who has been the middle/high school principal since 2003, would be the sole candidate.
Prior to 2003, he served as interim middle school principal at Falconer Central School and as high school English teacher, coach and class advisor. He received his building and district level certification through graduate studies at Gannon University and the Superintendent Development Program at SUNY Oswego.
After what Cleary described as an "intensive interview" process with O'Rourke and the board of education, it was determined Leichner was the right choice for superintendent based on the his experience and the needs of the district.
Leichner will begin his term in the position on Oct. 8. At the regular meeting of the board of education Thursday evening, he thanked the board and said he was looking forward to his work as superintendent. Cleary said, "I can tell you right now, we're looking for some great things from you."
To say goodbye to O'Connor, the board presented him with a "sad face" cake in FCS colors, black and yellow and a pair of binoculars. The card, which accompanied the binoculars, explained the purpose of gift: "So you will always see far ahead."
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