When the shrinking Forestville Central Schools appointed Patrick Moses as its new secondary school principal, it followed an unfortunate and unwelcome trend.
In announcing the hiring, the school found a person who could be a community leader for a prominent, very well paid and compensated position. There is, however, one major problem. This person does not live in the district - or even the county.
Moses, right, a Lancaster resident, could still move into the area. If he does, he would be doing better than the previous Forestville superintendent, who lived in the Buffalo area during his tenure of leadership.
It turns out our county of 134,000 has so many school districts - 18 - that we are begging for leaders. We beg so much that we allow people in positions of community influence to not even live in the counties where they work.
What does this say about our schools? It says a couple of harsh things.
First, some of those non-residents who are hired for some of the highest-paying, compensated positions in our area seem to want no part of the Chautauqua County lifestyle. They are thrilled to be working here, moving up the educational ladder while earning our public dollars and spending them elsewhere.
Secondly, it says something that is even more alarming: these administrators do not have the confidence to send their own children to the tiny school districts they lead. Instead, they would rather keep them in suburban Buffalo schools where there are a plethora of educational opportunities in the program and course offerings as well as extracurricular activities.
The unsaid reality of this decision? The new leaders of these miniscule districts know their children will receive a better education elsewhere.
Think about that. Some of the highest paid people in our small communities, in a public position and they do not even live in the county where they work.
How does that benefit our area property owners? It does not - and taxes keep going up as we support schools that are on life support and another day closer to insolvency.
So while merger and consolidation suggestions for our small districts are often scoffed at by the "save our schools" crowd, those same residents accept an outsider's decisions for its district.
Try figuring that one out.
Forestville did, however, celebrate a notable achievement. Its modified football team members joined with Silver Creek in an undefeated season.
If sports teams can be shared, we are certainly at a point where districts can share administrators. Especially those who are commited to living in this county while also being paid to work here.